27 Aug 2022

Best July on record for regional South Australia

Beachport, Limestone Coast
Beachport, Limestone Coast

Tourism in regional South Australia has not been dampened this winter, with the state celebrating its best July regional occupancy on record. 

Latest data shows July 2022 saw average occupancy for regional accommodation of 57 per cent, the best result for a July yet to be recorded. It was up from pre-COVID winter occupancy levels, of 50 per cent (July 2019). 

The record-breaking results were driven by increased consumer confidence and continued pent-up travel demand, the recovering interstate market, and July school holidays.  

The Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas, Limestone Coast, and the wine regions of Adelaide Hills, Barossa and Clare Valley were among the regions where occupancy in July exceeded pre-COVID levels. 

New STR data from the South Australian Tourism Commission shows: 

  • July 2022 saw regional occupancy of 57 per cent, the best result for a July on record. This compares to 50 per cent occupancy in July 2019 prior to the pandemic, and 47 per cent in July 2020 when the state saw an intrastate boom after the nation-wide lockdown.  
  • Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas saw average occupancy across the two regions of 65 per cent in July 2022, up from 55 per cent pre-COVID (July 2019). 
  • Limestone Coast saw average occupancy of 57 per cent in July 2022, up from 42 per cent pre-COVID (July 2019). 
  • The wine regions of Adelaide Hills, Barossa and Clare Valley saw combined average occupancy of 60 per cent in July 2022, up from 54 per cent pre-COVID (July 2019). 

Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison said regional tourism has been the powerhouse through the pandemic, and the latest results show that visitor demand for regional South Australia is staying strong. 

“Winter traditionally brings with it a seasonal decline in tourism but to have the best July on record is a huge achievement,” said Minister Bettison.  

“As we head into the warmer months and the October long weekend and school holidays, we can expect regional demand to grow even stronger as we work to recover our state’s once $8.1 billion visitor economy.”  

G'Day Group CEO, Grant Wilckens said it’s been a “particularly busy winter”.

“COVID delivered a regional travel boom, and it hasn’t slowed down with July visitor numbers even stronger than the year prior across our SA portfolio of properties,” he said.  

“The tourism recovery has given us plenty of confidence to invest, and this winter we launched our $22 million upgrade to Discovery Parks – Goolwa which has already delivered a strong increase in visitor nights for the region.  

“The wave is set to continue and we’re getting ready to kick off our major development at McCracken, reimagining the property as an integrated golf resort and tourism drawcard for the Fleurieu. While fuel prices may be rising and international borders have opened, the demand for regional road trips has remained strong and is expected to into the future.”

With four accommodation properties in the Limestone Coast, Director of The Commodore, Delgattie Estate, Colhurst House and The Henty, Michael Kosch said:

“It’s been a very strong winter for all four accommodation properties across our portfolio in Mount Gambier, and in fact, July was our best July yet – with occupancy levels up around 85 per cent in some instances.”  

“With borders well and truly open, we’ve really benefited from more interstate tourists hitting the road and particularly strong bookings from coachlines. This momentum has carried through into August and we’re cautiously excited as we look to more school holidays and a long weekend in October which always gets families out enjoying the heart of the south-east.”