Businesses refreshed by rising water

January 2011 News

The Houseboat Hirers Association says forward bookings for March and April are already 15 per cent higher than last year.

The Association chief executive, Peter Tucker, says a tourism boom over Christmas has created a shortage of boat moorings.

"It's a total turnaround. In probably about three months we've gone from drought conditions to good flows and the river conditions at the moment and for the foreseeable future are fantastic," he said.

But the SA Tourism Commission is worried that other parts of the state will miss out on the boom.

Ian Darbyshire from the commission says the strong Australian dollar may entice local travellers overseas.

"Last year it was a global financial crisis and people saying we can't afford to go away on holiday. This year it's people feeling very wealthy and wanting to go away," he said.

South Australian hotels are only 65 per cent full, but Katherine Taylor from the Australian Hotels Association is expecting demand to rise in the next few weeks.

"We don't have that corporate traveller quite back yet so we rely on things like the Tour Down Under to give an extra boost to the leisure tourist," he said.

The Tourism Commission says the return of Lance Armstrong will add $42 million to the state's economy.

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