Government Whip in the Legislative Council

Liberal Member in the Parliament of South Australia



Media Releases

Backpackers pack their bags and leave SA

Monday 12 September, 2011

Backpacker visitors to South Australia in the past 12 months have deserted our state in droves, opting for other states like Western Australia and Tasmania.

Labor’s Tourism Minister John Rau must explain why 11,000 backpackers over the past 12 months have decided to not visit SA.
Figures released by Tourism Research Australia paint a concerning picture for Mr Rau and Labor.

“These latest figures show that backpackers are turning their backs on South Australia, but not the rest of the country,” Shadow Tourism Minister Terry Stephens said.

“Mr Rau must explain why our state’s tourism assets aren’t being marketed well enough to the rest of Australia and the world.”
The TRA figures for SA since June 2007 are as follows:

South Australia

2007 - 103,000
2008 - 91,000
2009 - 93,000
2010 - 99,000
2011 - 88,000

“Not only have backpacker numbers dropped over the last 12 months, but they’ve also dropped by 15,000 since 2007,” Mr Stephens said.

“Labor is failing to get backpackers to spend important tourism dollars in SA.

“Labor has lurched from crisis to crisis in this area – cutting tourism spending to regional SA and botching the privatisation of the SA Visitor and Travel Centre in Adelaide.

“What we’ve seen from Labor over the last 12 months is a lack of focus on getting backpackers to our state.

“Labor is obviously more focussed on its own division and disunity rather than on getting backpacker tourists to spend money in SA.”

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