The SA Government has welcomed the latest March 2019 National Visitor Survey results, which confirm a boost for South Australian regions, including Kangaroo Island.
From December 2013 to March 2019, data for Kangaroo Island shows:
- Domestic and international overnight visits have grown 33 per cent to 162,000
- Domestic and international nights have grown 14 per cent to 578,000
- Total domestic and international expenditure has reached $138 million - up 33 per cent.
Carly Bussenschutt, owner of luxury accommodation provider Stowaways on KI, was quoted by the Government, confirming the boom, saying occupancy levels in December reached 72 per cent, and neared full capacity in January.
"Kangaroo Island is absolutely buzzing - I have never seen this many people visiting the North Coast and Stokes Bay region," Ms Bussenschutt said.
South Australian Tourism Commission CEO Rodney Harrex welcomed the latest tourism numbers.
"The SATC has an ongoing strategy to promote South Australia and today's announcement of a $7.2 billion visitor economy confirms that we're headed in the right direction," Mr Harrex said.
"Our appeal as a destination has never been higher. Our marketing campaigns are delivering solid growth in bookings, and our world-class events and tourism offerings are leaving lasting impressions on all who visit.
"It's particularly pleasing to see that more Australians are exploring regional South Australia - receiving 62 per cent of all domestic visits.
"These results are welcome news for Kangaroo Island with tourism employing many in the region and injecting new money into local businesses."
For more information on the National and International Visitor Survey visit www.tra.gov.au
The results show visitors from Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria provided the biggest boost - helping notch up $6.2 billion in local spending - in addition to the over $1 billion in international expenditure for the same period.
Acting Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Tim Whetstone said regional South Australia contributed a massive 4.3 million visits and 15.4 million visitor nights to the overall State total.
"Regions are incredibly important to the State's tourism industry with the latest data showing growth of 15 per cent, well above the overall State growth of 8 per cent," said Minister Whetstone.
"In fact, 43 cents of every tourism related dollar generated in our state is spent in the regions."
"It's great to see Australians heading to our regions in record numbers spending $2.9 billion and, in the process, creating valued economic activity and local jobs."
"South Australia's wonderful tourism assets are the talk of the country with people arriving in droves from interstate to sample our amazing food and wine or indulge in a luxury escape to take in our incredible nature and wildlife," Mr Whetstone said.
Recognising the importance of tourism as a key economic driver, the SA Government has further invested in tourism in the recent State Budget with an additional $43 million to market South Australia to the world.
"While these numbers are fantastic, we need to keep up the momentum as we prepare to release the 2030 Tourism Industry Sector Plan as part of the Government's ambitious Growth Agenda," Mr Whetstone.
"Our goal is to drive the visitor economy to new heights, and we remain committed to achieving the 2020 target of an $8 billion visitor economy and 10,000 additional jobs."