From the CE's Desk

As the year end approaches, it is a good time to take stock and reflect on the exciting year that was 2015.

As a state we have had some significant achievements and the SATC team has been busier than ever, but we’ve also maintained the high standards and outcomes that the industry and our stakeholders expect. What has been achieved has only happened through partnership with industry, regions, government and key industry groups.

The year started on the perfect note, with Adelaide being listed by the New York Times as one of the best places to go in 2015! This achievement is clear proof of why our State should be on everyone’s wish list.

Tourism is an economic development strategy, a critical pillar for South Australia; and the State Government has recognised this potential and recently elevated its status as one of its ten economic priorities. The value of the visitor economy for South Australia and its ability to positively impact the local economy, generate jobs and the future prosperity of our State has been recognised with 2015 seeing an unprecedented amount of funding. The State Government announced a funding package of $35 million over two years in the 2015-16 State Budget.

The additional funds are being invested in promoting our State to the world to raise awareness of our competitive strengths in food and wine, festivals and events and accessible wildlife. It will also be directed at bringing more events and conventions to South Australia in a bid to strengthen our calendar of events through the year. The strength of our State as a world-class event host was further bolstered by the win as the Best Event State at the recent national event awards.

  • Superstar Virgo

    Cruise ship arriving in South Australia.

    Superstar Virgo
  • Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2015

    Celebrations after the team finish.

    Bridgestone World Solar Challenge
  • 2015 Adelaide Fashion Festival

    Runway at Hindmarsh Square.

    Adelaide Fashion Festival
  • Liverpool vs Adelaide United at Adelaide Oval

    Crowd enjoying the match.

    Liverpool FC vs Adelaide United FC
  • Santos Women’s Tour 2015

    Cyclists peloton.

    2015 Santos Womens Tour

The year commenced with one of biggest and most successful Santos Tour Down Under to date. The Women’s Tour was an incredible success that resulted in it being granted international status by the world cycling governing body. It was also a thrill watching local hero Rohan Dennis claim the coveted trophy.

The momentum didn’t stop there, with Adelaide playing host to the most anticipated clash of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup. The pivotal India versus Pakistan match held at the new and improved Adelaide Oval was an incredible success with a fantastic Riverbank festival atmosphere showcased to more than two billion people worldwide. A spectacular Adelaide sunset lit up our skies, with images from Adelaide Oval trending on Twitter. In fact, twitter India has revealed the game generated a whopping 118.3 million impressions. The Cricket World Cup #INDvsPAK match on 15 February, enjoyed the most impactful social media activity in 2015. The estimated media value of coverage generates was approximately $48.6 million with an estimated reach of 2.5 billion.

It was a great year for large events, giving Adelaide a global platform. We hosted Liverpool FC in a friendly match against Adelaide United at Adelaide Oval. Adelaide securing these global events is testament to the recognition of our growing reputation as a world-class destination for events.

We launched the Adelaide Fashion Festival which as a first time event for SATC, was nothing short of incredible – 18 events across four days with more than 5000 people attending ticketed events surpassed everyone’s expectations. Through this Festival, we are committed to expanding the fashion industry and on a growing international focus for the event; this includes Asia and South Australia's friends in China, including our Sister State Shandong and Sister City Qingdao.

We also welcomed the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge and the 2015 event was an outstanding success. A record breaking 47 teams from 25 countries participated in the event which is the world’s largest solar challenge. The event has become a true global challenge, with new teams from South Africa, Nigeria, and Poland joining regulars from Australia, the United States, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, China, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, the United Kingdom, Canada, Colombia, and Germany.

The revamped Adelaide Convention Centre and our work with the Adelaide Convention Bureau has seen some great results in recent times. It is expected that at least $350 million will be pumped into the state’s economy from a wide range of conventions and conferences scheduled for South Australia in the next two years.

Our focus and commitment to the regions continue with successful regional workshops delivered throughout the year, as well as supporting 26 regional events and sponsored events like WOMADelaide, and providing marketing and PR support to key arts events like Tarnanthi and Fashion Icons.

We also received funding through the TDDI fund, a partnership between the State and Federal governments. More than $2 million has been allocated to be spent on new infrastructure – including bike and wilderness trails – in four South Australian regions in order to attract more tourists to our state.

Some other highlights this year include Qatar announcing a direct Adelaide to Doha route from May 2016 which will significantly improve access to our key European, US and Indian markets. As well as a strong cruise season which continues to gain strength and popularity year on year with an additional seven cruise ship visits scheduled for next year.

This year has also seen a number of new hotels being announced in Adelaide which demonstrates the confidence in our State and it’s potential. The seven new hotel construction projects announced in the Adelaide CBD is an investment valued at over $1 billion.

In addition to these developments, we have also been innovative in marketing our State both domestically and internationally. We pitched to bring the successful show PLONK to South Australia, exclusively promoting our eclectic wine industry and its inimitable characters to the world. This was followed up by the widely popular Chinese reality show Running Man which also filmed in South Australia – another opportunity to showcase our wonderful state to a wider, key international audience of more than 250 million.

Internally we have worked on some major projects, including the new, cutting edge southaustralia.com. The research and insights as well as the technology involved in the website’s overhaul will better service potential visitors to the state as well look more visually appealing.

We welcomed the Motor Sport Group team (they run Clipsal 500 and Bridgestone World Solar Challenge) to SATC and progressed with a realignment within the organisation, to ensure we are structured in a way to be most prepared and focussed on delivering on our Tourism Plan and meeting our 2020 objectives.

Interstate visitors travelling to South Australia are at an all-time high with 2.1 million visits with interstate visits up 15.9 per cent. International visitor numbers to SA have also reached a record high of 392,000 following strong growth from the Asian market. Total international tourism expenditure has also risen to a record high of $818 million.

We have packed a lot into 2015 and we are even more committed to delivering a successful 2016. We are determined to realise the State’s full tourism expenditure potential of $8 billion by 2020, growing the visitor economy, driving jobs creation and delivering economic prosperity for our State. This will only be achieved through collaboration and we look forward to working together in 2016.

Rodney Harrex
Chief Executive
South Australian Tourism Commission

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