South Australia achieved a record year of international tourism in 2017 with British and Chinese tourists pouring in to experience its “wow” factor. Driving the increase were two unlikely sources, cricket and Koalas.
Over the course of the year, visitor numbers rose to 462,000. This totalled to an increase of 7 percent. The SA market saw a tremendous 18 percent increase in spending by tourists, as a result, a total of $1.1 billion was spent in the region. The city which saw the largest share of this spend was Adelaide.
British visitor numbers once again a saw year on year rise. One occasion which led to a higher visitor rate to the area was cricket fans travelling to witness the second Ashes Test in December. The new renovations to the Adelaide Oval Stadium was a real pull to attract fans to watch the fixture being held in South Australia. Increasing 17 percent from the previous year, 74,000 UK arrivals visited and spent around $86 million helping to fuel the SA tourism industry.
Trailing just behind the UK was the big spending Chinese market looking for hands-on experiences with Australia’s signature animals. Tourists looking to capture that signature selfie with a kangaroo or koala bear in places including Cleland Wildlife Park caused the number of visitors from China to increase over a third to 60,000.
Chinese tourists spent the most of any market with over $389 million added to the economy. According to the Tourism Research Australia, spending rose 55 percent from the previous year. Across Australia, international visitors contributed to a 6 percent increase in spending, reaching a record $41.3 billion for the year.
As a result of more visitors travelling to South Australia than ever before, more investment is being introduced into the regions travel links.