MORE than 360,000 domestic visits to Eyre Peninsula last year contributed to a record $6.3 billion in tourism related expenditure in South Australia.
The National Visitor Survey data released last week showed, in the 12 months to December 2016, domestic travel continued to be the highest contributor to the state’s visitor economy with day trips and overnight stays injecting $5.4 billion.
The Eyre Peninsula attracted 368,000 domestic visits, with visitors staying 1.6 million visitor nights.
Dean and Janette Pepall from Geelong in Victoria are not surprised Eyre Peninsula is a drawcard for tourists saying they had driven many times to Western Australia and enjoyed what the EP had to offer.
Cleve is centre of everything we like, we can get to Arno Bay and Cowell easily and all the other towns around Eyre Peninsula
However, this was their first visit to Cleve and they used social media to find Cleve’s RV friendly site.
“Cleve is centre of everything we like, we can get to Arno Bay and Cowell easily and all the other towns around Eyre Peninsula,” Mr Pepall said.
He said the community at Cleve and surrounds made the difference in his visit as everyone was nice and friendly.
Mrs Pepall said she was able to continue her work online while travelling and enjoyed viewing the “beautiful countryside” around Eastern Eyre.
“We didn’t know it was here, such lovely views, you have hills and farms and the sea, and the people are so friendly,” Mrs Pepall said.
Mr Pepall said the border collie dog cutouts around the district were brilliant and if they were used as a scenic sight prompt and incorporated into an app, he was sure it would be popular.
Minister for tourism Leon Bignell said the Eyre Peninsula results of the visitor survey were fantastic.
“The Eyre Peninsula offers stunning diversity in its landscape – as well as some of our state’s best coastline – and it’s thriving and vibrant marine tourism is a major drawcard for this state,” he said.
Mr Bignell said visitors had a world-class experience in South Australia while injecting new money into small, medium and big businesses which flowed through to workers’ bank accounts.
“People are seeing the images, hearing our messages and are coming here in record numbers,” Mr Bignell said.