The latest TiCSA Tourism Barometer for the January to March 2021 quarter shows a return to positive business activity for the first time since COVID-19 began. All readings have grown, with medium-term business outlook and future investment at very high levels.

Pleasingly, the report also shows that South Australia has gained market share expenditure across all domestic markets.

That said, many businesses are still suffering with the absence of interstate and international visitors. There are also concerns regarding sourcing suitable staff.

Please see below for a breakdown of the key findings.

Business activity:

  • 54% of respondents are operating as usual, 34% are open but with reduced staff or operations.
  • 47% reported stronger business activity, 44% reported weaker business activity.
  • Leisure travel is the primary driver for growth, with 45% reporting an increase.
  • 46% identified lack of staff as a key issue moving forward.
  • Border restrictions and lack of consumer confidence were identified as key barriers to industry recovery.


  • 46% of businesses are planning more investment, which is one of the highest levels over the last three years.

Forward bookings:

  • 59% are expecting business activity to be stronger for the June 2021 quarter.
  • 60% of businesses are confident or extremely confident about the next 12 months.
  • 46% reported lack of forward bookings or uncertain forward bookings as a key challenge moving forward.

Visitation & expenditure:

  • Both international and interstate visitor expenditure have reached their lowest point over the last decade.
  • While expenditure continues to decline, SA has gained market share across all visitor segments, which indicates that the state is performing better than others.


  • JobKeeper provided the greatest financial relief for SA tourism businesses.
  • 57% received JobKeeper.
  • Now that JobKeeper has concluded, 22% are at risk of reducing staff or staff hours.
Report prepared in partnership with Lucid Economics.