27 Oct 2023

Cruise returns, international award wins, Mid-Murray grant opens & more

There’s been some major wins across our state’s tourism industry this week, with the return of our multi-million-dollar cruise sector, further support rolling-out for Mid-Murray River operators, a series of international award wins, and Harvest Rock II enticing festivalgoers from all over to our city this weekend.  

The first ship of South Australia’s 2023-24 cruise season visited Kangaroo Island on Wednesday, before arriving in Adelaide yesterday. It begins what is set to be a record-breaking season, with 124 scheduled visits across our state through until April. We have confirmed the incredible impact this sector has, with last season pumping $215 million into our state’s visitor economy.  

Tourism operators in the Mid-Murray River can now apply for grants from $5,000 up to $50,000 to further support recovery from the once-in-a-century flooding event. Part of the $500,000 Mid Murray Tourism Recovery Fund, the Mid Murray River Tourism Business Support Program aims to assist tourism businesses that have experienced financial loss in low-lying areas. 

I am currently in the Limestone Coast, attending the State Government’s Country Cabinet. This is a great opportunity for the leaders in our state to see firsthand the incredible tourism offerings in this region, which has just celebrated record-high visitor expenditure of $565 million. 

This week has seen our state celebrate some impressive global award wins, recognising South Australia’s strength in wine tourism and world-class destinations and major events. 

Overnight, Barossa based Alkina Wine Estate was crowned one of the world’s best wine tourism accommodation offerings receiving a Global Best of Wine Tourism Award at a gala dinner in Lausanne, Switzerland. Recognised among the ‘best of the best’ across the 12 Great Wine Capitals around the world, Alkina Wine Estate offers luxury accommodation and is championing the history and land of the region. 

Kangaroo Island was ranked #2 must-visit destination in 2024 by global travel authority, Lonely Planet, in its Top Regions Hotlist 2024. The only Australian location to make the list, the region is recognised as a premier eco-tourism destination – and tops globally renowned tourist hotspots such as Tuscany in Italy. 

Testament to the strength of our state’s major events, LIV Golf Adelaide has been named the World’s Best Golf Event of the Year at the World Golf Awards. The inaugural Australian event in April drew an attendance of more than 77,000, with 40 per cent of ticket purchases from interstate and overseas. I look forward to seeing this event grow over the next three years, with details of the 2024 event coming soon. 

The highly anticipated Harvest Rock festival returns to Adelaide this weekend, presenting some of the world’s most beloved musical acts and our state’s best food and beverage. We’re hearing bookings are up across CBD hotels and restaurants, as crowds from across the nation flock to our city for the two-day event - and it is terrific to see blue skies forecast this year!

Emma Terry 
Chief Executive Officer

Read Industry Update - 27 October 2023