South Australia has it all – magnificent beaches and coastlines, rugged outback ranges, vineyards and the mighty Murray – but visitors are staying away.
The latest national survey conducted by Tourism Research Australia shows SA attracted just 7 per cent of the nation’s overnight visitors in the year ended 30 June, the lowest of any mainland state.
And the number of nights the visitors spent in SA was also the lowest of the mainland states.
“As a South Australian, I’m bitterly disappointed,” Shadow Tourism Minister David Ridgway said.
“It’s common knowledge that the Government is failing to reach its strategic targets for tourism, but no-one expected the result to be as bad as this.
“The total number of visitors last financial year is lower than any state except Tasmania and up only marginally on the year before, and I’m particularly concerned by the poor growth in total visitor nights.
“The Government has its spending priorities in tourism promotion totally wrong. Why should NSW get almost a third of all Australia’s interstate tourists and SA just 7 per cent?
“Equally concerning is that the figures show visitors to SA are not spending as much money as visitors to other states.
“Adelaide, for example, got just 3 per cent of the nation’s domestic day visitor expenditure.
“South Australia is a world-class tourism destination. It’s a pity the Government doesn’t do world-class tourism promotion,” Mr Ridgway said.