Great start to 2021 tourism season

22 Jan 2021

With reports local accommodation, eateries, pubs and the recommenced Wallaroo to Lucky Bay ferry all being flat out over the summer, it is pointing to a great start to our local tourism season.


I’m also hearing how pleased holiday makers are that the long-awaited Port Wakefield overpass project is well and truly underway, and I urge all to continue to be patient and observe the reduced speed limits in place for these roadworks.

Despite all the challenges associated with COVID-19, the regional hotel booking data for December 2020 has not just broken pre-pandemic records but all-time records as well.

Premier Marshall praised all South Australians when announcing more regional events funding this week , for doing their bit for our visitor economy and holidaying at home. Latest data from the South Australian Tourism Commission shows that local operators are being supported at unprecedented levels:

  • Both city and regional accommodation occupancy recorded sharp spikes for December 2020, with both matching – or beating – bookings for the same period in 2019
  • Figures provided by STR Global for December 2020 show occupancy in regional SA reached 60% - the highest December on record, and an increase on December 2019 (55%)
  • Room nights in regions were also the highest on record for December, reaching 114,000 up 8% on the previous year (106,000)

A strong tourism sector means more jobs across our entire state.

This data shows that the work we are doing to promote our regions, the Great State Voucher campaigns and the support we’ve provided through our $10,000 small business grants are making a huge difference for our local tourism sector. More than 18,000 bookings have been made with Great State Vouchers and nearly 5,000 rooms already checked-in to their stay.

Regional Events funding

I am very pleased the Marshall Liberal Government is providing an additional $1 million in regional event funding (as announced yesterday 24 January), as further support for regional communities.  With the latest data showing 48 cents in every tourism dollar being spent in our regions, regional tourism is playing a key role in the recovery of our state’s visitor economy.

With more support for local events will come more visitors and ultimately, more local jobs.

The 2021-22 Regional Event Fund has four categories: Significant Event Funding ($50,000 or more), Established Event Funding ($20,000-$50,000), Development Event Funding ($10,000-$20,000) and Emerging Event Funding ($5,000-$10,000). Round 1 of two intake rounds opened on 24 January 2021: For more info visit