South Australia showcased to the world as the state’s international tourism recovery outperforms the national average

South Australian Tourism Commission

South Australia will be showcased to key international trade partners this week, as Tourism Australia’s flagship trade event gets underway in Melbourne.

It comes as latest data shows international visitor spend in South Australia has hit a record-high and the state’s recovery in the market has significantly outperformed the national average.

Almost 50 tourism operators from across South Australia will represent the state at this year’s Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE), providing an opportunity to promote their offerings directly to global distribution partners who will help sell them to the world.

Further highlighting the state as a must-visit destination, the State Government through the South Australian Tourism Commission will host a dedicated SA networking function for South Australian operators and key international buyers.

Among the 48 tourism operators attending this year’s ATE from South Australia include first-time attendees – CABN, Aurora Ozone Hotel in Kangaroo Island, Lambert Estate in the Barossa, and Fortune Dragon Travel.

The event is part of the SATC’s 2025 International Tourism Strategy, which set a target to reclaim South Australia’s pre-pandemic international visitor expenditure of $1.2 billion by 2025.

Latest data from Tourism Research Australia shows South Australia’s international expenditure has not only met this target but has surpassed it, to reach a record-high $1.3 billion in 2023. This was 6 per cent up on 2019, compared to the national average which was 11 per cent down.

A total of 14.1 million international visitor nights were stayed in South Australia in 2023, an increase of 29 per cent compared to 2019. This is compared with Australia’s growth in the same period which was 12 per cent down.

The state’s international visitation is 90 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, with 439,000 international visitors to South Australia in 2023 compared to 488,000 in 2019.

ATE 2024 is held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and runs from Sunday 19 May to Thursday 23 May. Organisers report it is set to be one of the biggest events in its 45-year history, with record numbers of international buyers (714 tourism wholesalers and retailers from 37 countries) and sellers (1500 tourism operators).

Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said what a fantastic result for South Australia’s international market, outperforming the national average across all metrics – visits, nights and expenditure – as well as international spend in the state reaching a record-high.

“With a hugely competitive global market, it is vital we continue our work to grow international tourism in our state and that’s exactly why we’re making sure South Australia is front of mind at this year’s Australian Tourism Exchange,” Minister Bettison said.

“I look forward to joining the nearly 50 South Australian tourism operators at Tourism Australia’s flagship event in Melbourne this week and helping ‘sell South Australia to the world’.”

CABN Founder & CEO, Michael Lamprell said “we’re incredibly excited to be attending our first ATE as part of the South Australian contingent this year, and are super encouraged by the response we’ve had, with a full schedule of back-to-back meetings over the week.”

“We’re looking forward to flying the flag for South Australia and because we operate across five regions – Clare Valley, Barossa, Fleurieu Peninsula, Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island – we’re able to not only promote what CABN offers to a global audience but also what makes SA a must-do on any international traveller’s itinerary,” Mr Lamprell said.

“We’ve definitely seen a bounce back in international travel across the regions CABN operates in, most notably in Kangaroo Island. While international visitor numbers continue to return post COVID, we’re very excited that sustainable tourism has shifted to be higher on the agenda for this market – as a focal point for CABN, we are perfectly positioned to leverage this trend as international travel to Australia continues to grow.”

/Public Release. View in full here.