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Tourism Industry Calls For Increased Support

June 12, 2019 Business News No Comments Email Email

With the 2019/20 State Budget impending, the Tourism Industry Council South Australia (TiCSA) is reinforcing the need for the State Government to increase industry support in order to achieve the tourism 2020 targets of $8 billion and 41,000 jobs.

TiCSA Chief Executive Officer Shaun de Bruyn says the state’s tourism expenditure growth is below trend when compared to the national averages, with other state and territory governments significantly increasing their tourism investment in recent years.

“The South Australian Government has set a goal to grow our visitor economy to $8 billion and 41,000 jobs by 2020. With less than one year now remaining to achieve these targets, we still need to generate around $1.2 billion in additional expenditure and 5,000 jobs,” Mr de Bruyn said.

“The International and National Visitor Survey figures for the year ending December 2018 show that our share of expenditure growth is in decline and unless our State Government further invests, we risk losing our competitiveness.”

Currently the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC)’s marketing budget is around $30 to $35 million, with other state and territory governments investing tens of millions into their State Tourism Organisations.

Most recently the Western Australian Government announced that $9 million in new money would be used to support the international marketing initiatives delivered by Tourism Western Australia.

“TiCSA is thereby advocating for the SATC’s funding to be lifted to $50 million annually to facilitate the state’s global marketing activities,” Mr de Bruyn said.

“Now is the time for our State Government to invest, with industry calling for the imminent State Budget to highlight a strong commitment to the visitor economy in South Australia.”

Mr de Bruyn says the five critical areas are destination marketing, business capability building, regional development, infrastructure and leisure events.

“Our regions are undoubtably fundamental to the success of tourism in South Australia and account for 42 per cent of the total spend from visitors,” he said.

“If we are to enhance our competitive edge, more funding needs to be provided to Regional Tourism Organisations, as well as increased support for regional development and events.”

Tony Smith, owner of the award-winning tourism business Rawnsley Park Station in the Flinders Ranges, said the big-ticket item for the region is sealing the Strzelecki Track.

“It is now time to seriously look at developing an all-weather road to link South Australia to New South Wales and Queensland via the mining centre of Moomba,” said Mr Smith.

“This project will not only benefit the mining and tourism sectors, but the state as a whole.”

Furthermore, TiCSA is advocating for the government to co-invest $1.8 million over three years to facilitate business development, ensuring owners and their staff have the capabilities to deliver world-class visitor experiences.

“Building expertise and confidence amongst tourism operators in South Australia is vital,” said Mr Smith.

“With increased confidence comes increased investment from the private sector, and increased investment is essential to grow tourism.”

Tourism in South Australia currently employs more than 36,000 people and generates $6.8 billion for the state’s visitor economy.

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