Business activity and outlook amongst tourism operators in South Australia remain positive according to the December quarter 2018 Barometer.

Though the Business Activity Index was down by four points at 121 when compared to the September 2018 quarter, the Business Outlook Index was up by three points at 135. Both indicators were well above the midpoint of 100 suggesting industry growth.

TiCSA Chief Executive Officer Shaun de Bruyn said when compared to the previous quarter, the Business Activity Index for the holiday / leisure sector was very positive at 125 points.

“Significant drivers identified by TiCSA Members for the quarter included the drive touring markets, cruise ships, a strong conference market in October, marketing by the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC), regional bodies and the operators themselves, particularly in regard to their digital presence and social media,” said Shaun.

“Less favourable factors for the industry included the continuing decline of the backpacker market, hot weather, increases to the cost of fuel prior to Christmas and fewer event visitors in some instances.

“The outlook for the future was supported by a range of factors, including the events season, cruise ships, the re-invigoration of the Whyalla steelworks and new infrastructure in Adelaide to support business events. In the longer term, a weaker dollar and retiring baby boomers will continue to support demand.

“Unfortunately, the number of Australians holidaying overseas continues to increase with no signs of slowing down.

“Other headwinds could include a weaker economy globally and declining house prices on the eastern seaboard.”

The data from Tourism Research Australia for the year ending September 2018 indicates continuing strong demand with the number of overnight visitors in South Australia reaching seven million for the first time and the visitor economy worth a record $6.9 billion.

The positive sentiment is reflected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Labour Force survey[1], which shows that the number of persons employed in accommodation and food services in November 2018 was 62,430 – up by 25% from November 2017.  Full-time employment was up by 29% to 22,890 while part-time employment was up by 23% to 39,550.

“The strong performance of the tourism industry both in terms of visitor demand and economic impact is pleasing, with the December 2018 Barometer demonstrating the importance of upskilling by operators and business innovation.

“TiCSA will continue to place a high priority on developing the capabilities of tourism operators across the state to ensure to the sustainable growth of these businesses,” says Shaun.

TICSA’s Tourism Barometer is an independent quarterly survey of TiCSA Members designed to measure recent activity and the outlook of the future. To view the full report, visit www.ticsa.com.au

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[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics. Cat. 6291.0.55.003. Labour Force Australia, Detailed