South Australia: International Tourist Expenditure Up 19%

South Australia's appeal as a world-class tourism destination continues to grow with international tourist expenditure up 19 per cent, compared to a national decline of five per cent.

Minister for Tourism John Rau said the latest International Visitor Survey (IVS) results released by Tourism Research Australia (TRA) are great news for South Australia's economy.

"This helps edge the State's tourism industry closer to becoming a $6.3 billion earner by 2014, as outlined in the South Australian Tourism Plan 2009-2014," Mr Rau said.

"South Australia welcomed 364,000 international visitors who stayed 8,602,000 nights during the 12 months ending September 2010. This represents a three per cent increase in visitor numbers and
20 per cent increase in visitor nights on the previous 12 month period.

"Business, education, employment and visiting friends and relatives nights contributed to the increase in overall visitor nights, but SA also recorded a good lift in tourist nights.

"Of the total visitors, 208,000 were tourists who spent 2,053,000 nights in South Australia, representing an increase of nine per cent in tourist nights compared to the previous 12-month period, demonstrating that South Australia's tourism offering is resonating with international holiday-makers.

"Most significantly, these tourists spent $196 million, representing a 19 per cent increase on the previous period, signifying the valuable contribution international tourists make to South Australia's economy.

"Building on these results, Malaysia Airlines' recent announcement to increase its number of weekly Adelaide-Kuala Lumpur flights from four to six in March next year will add a further 29,000 seats each
year, giving us a great opportunity to bring more visitors to our State from target markets including Europe, India, China, and Malaysia.

"Our world-class events season will continue to act as a hook for visitors and will kick off next month with the Santos Tour Down Under, which in 2010 attracted nearly 40,000 visitors from interstate and overseas and provided a $41.5 million boost to the State's economy.

"The calibre of cyclists taking part in 2011 event is sure to attract plenty of interest with both locals and visitors, and will include Lance Armstrong who has announced his appearance at the 2011 event will be his last professional race on international soil.

"We will continue to deliver on key targets within the South Australian Tourism Plan 2009-2014 including strategic marketing activities, further development of our major events calendar and ongoing work with key airline partners to further open up South Australia to more international tourists in the future."