Tourism Activity Index Rises – SATIC Tourism Barometer Dec 2017

09 February 2018


The SATIC Tourism Barometer survey for the December quarter of 2017 found that tourism performance continues to strengthen with the activity index rising by 6% to a high of 136 points – the highest since 2013.

The short-term outlook index was down somewhat from the previous quarter to 145 points, although this still reflects a strongly positive outlook for the future[1].

Business activity was stronger across all sectors – leisure, events, conference and business.

Comments from operators suggest there appears to be greater confidence surrounding the general economic climate with the tourism industry experiencing stronger demand from interstate and overseas visitors. Operators also perceived fewer headwinds than in the past such as the high dollar and government instability impacting consumer confidence.

Events continue to play a major role in stimulating demand for the quarter – in particular the Ashes test, the Pacific School Games, International 3 Day Event and smaller regional events. Other drivers were the cruise ship market, improved promotion of national parks and the nature-based tourism strategy.

The involvement of regional councils in supporting tourism is also a positive. Government investment in infrastructure such as the Kangaroo Island airport and the Bend Motorsport Park will continue to support the development of regional tourism in South Australia.

On the aviation front, the new QantasLink service to Kangaroo Island will support growth for the region while Qatar Airways, China Southern and Air New Zealand have increased services or capacity. The Adelaide Airport reported that December 1st 2017 was the busiest day on record with 32,698 passengers passing through the terminal.

The proportion of operators reporting that they had employed additional staff continued to rise – up to 36% for the quarter - while more than half the respondents (53%) are planning to invest in their business over the next 12 months.

ABS Labour Force figures for the month of November 2017 showed an increase of 2% in the number of persons employed in the accommodation and food services sector when compared to the same time last year.

Challenges for the industry were the continuing weakness of the backpacker sector which is exacerbated by the backpacker tax; cost of utilities, wages and other inputs; and supply of unregulated and accommodation.   

While the rising trend in outbound travel by Australian residents continues, higher interest rates overseas could result in a weakening of the $A which would support domestic and international travel demand.

SATIC chief executive officer Shaun de Bruyn says the SATIC Barometer demonstrates that tourism businesses in South Australia are experiencing positive conditions with all sectors reporting growth.

“We look forward to an exciting 2018 with the upcoming events season and further improvements to the tourism product and supporting infrastructure in Adelaide and across our regions,” Mr de Bruyn said. 

Read the full report > 

[1] An index above 100 indicates growth with more businesses experiencing an increase when compared to those experiencing contraction. An index below 100 indicates more businesses experienced weaker conditions.


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