IMAGE CREDIT: TreeClimb Adelaide
South Australia’s tourism industry is booming, employing more people than ever before, according to latest figures released by Tourism Research Australia (TRA).
The figures show that the total number of people employed in the sector has risen to an all-time high of 38,900 – a four per cent increase or 1,616 jobs on the previous year.
This follows recent news that South Australia’s tourism expenditure has hit a record high $7.2 billion at the end of March 2019.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, David Ridgway said the figures demonstrate the growing strength of the sector and highlights its broader contribution to the local economy.
“Tourism is such a critical part of the state’s employment focus, now employing more than four times as many people as the mining sector.
“The sector has enjoyed record growth in both expenditure and employment over the past few years and with the recent release of the South Australian Visitor Economy Sector Plan 2030, we now have a roadmap to build on this momentum.”
In its first two state budgets, the Government has committed additional funding to boost events and marketing, citing their importance to South Australia’s competitiveness as a global tourism destination.
“Following a massive increase of $21.5 million to the Events Bid Funds as part of our election commitment, we have now allocated a further $43 million over four years to ensure the SATC can continue to market our State on the world stage.”
Chief Executive of the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC), Rodney Harrex said today’s figures reinforce the sector’s importance to the State.
“This is great news for our state’s tourism industry and shows the SATC is well on its way to achieving its original 2020 target to generate an additional 10,000 jobs in the sector,” said Mr Harrex
“When you consider that the growth in tourism related jobs has doubled the rate of overall employment growth in the state over the same period, this is a fantastic result.
“And when you add-in people indirectly employed in the industry, the number skyrockets to 61,300.”
“With so many people reliant on this industry the SATC will continue to work tirelessly to promote the State and run world-class events to drive visitation.”
The increase in South Australian tourism jobs is off the back of a national increase in direct tourism employment of five per cent from 618,000 in 2016-17 to 646,000 in 2017-18.
The main industries contributing to South Australian tourism employment are cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (10,900 jobs) as well as retail trade (8,100 jobs).