08 Sep 2023

June tourism joy as SA breaks another record

Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, Flinders Ranges & Outback
Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, Flinders Ranges & Outback

Tourism in South Australia in June has seen another excellent result – making it the eleventh consecutive month of record-high visitor expenditure in the state.
At $765 million spent by visitors in June 2023, the new June high is up 35 per cent on pre pandemic levels making it the best June on record.
Although a softening of the visitor economy is expected nationally, data released today from Tourism Research Australia shows South Australia’s June result was driven by growth in spend from interstate and international overnight visitors, up 14 and 65 per cent respectively on June 2019, as well as the domestic day trips market, up 121 per cent from $106 million to $234 million.
June was boosted by the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and a series of conferences which attracted a combined nearly 6,000 delegates.
Hotel occupancy data from STR backs in the new tourism figures, with Adelaide accommodation recording the best June on record for the number of room nights occupied.
Accommodation in regional South Australia also recorded a strong June, with room nights occupied up 26 per cent on the same month pre pandemic.
June 2023 highlights:

  • A total $765 million in visitor expenditure in South Australia for the month of June 2023 – making it the best June on record.
  • Interstate overnight visitor spend of $175 million – up 14 per cent on June 2019
  • International overnight visitor spend of $88 million – up 65 per cent on June 2019
  • Domestic day trips spend of $234 million – up 121 per cent on June 2019
  • Adelaide accommodation had its best June on record for room nights occupied – up 3 per cent on June 2019
  • Regional SA accommodation had a very strong June, with room nights occupied up 26 per cent on June 2019.

The 11 months in a row of record-high visitor spend has been thanks to a resurgence in interstate expenditure and a spate of new and returning major events.
South Australia celebrated more than 23 major events, over one year – helping to drive visitor spend.
It all comes as the Art Gallery of South Australia announced today it will be extending its opening hours to cater for public demand for their major winter exhibition, opening at 9am from 11 to 17 September and closing late at 7pm on 8, 15, and 16 September.
The next 10 days will be the final opportunity to see the iconic works by two of the most influential and loved artists of the twentieth century – Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.
South Australian businesses are now looking forward to the warmer months, with the cruise season commencing in October and other major events and conferences closing out the year, including:
The Royal Adelaide Show: 2-10 September 2023
Australian Masters Games: 7 – 14 October 2023
Adelaide Film Festival: 18 - 29 October 2023
OzAsia Festival: 19 October – 5 November 2023
TPS South Australia Webex Players Series: 19 October – 22 October 2023
Harvest Rock: 28 - 29 October 2023
Adelaide Fashion Week: 20 - 22 October 2023
Tarnanthi: 20 October 2023 – 21 January 2024
National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant: 4 November 2023
Feast Festival: 1 – 19 November 2023
Shannons Adelaide Rally: 17 – 19 November 2023
VAILO Adelaide 500: 23 -26 November 2023
Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said South Australia’s non-stop events calendar of exclusive events has motivated visitors to commit to a trip to South Australia, and this is only set to continue with the final week of Frida & Diego: Love & Revolution, the Australian Masters Games, and the return of Harvest Rock and the VAILO Adelaide 500.
"While we mark 11 consecutive months of tourism spend at an all-time high, we must also position ourselves to overcome the challenges posed for the visitor economy during traditionally quieter tourism seasons," Minister Bettison said.
"That’s why it’s so important we continue to invest in tourism and in demand-drivers like major events, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.
"The Frida & Diego: Love & Revolution exhibition has already exceeded the box office target with 25 per cent of visitors attending from interstate or overseas. The event has not only been an outstanding artistic success, it has driven thousands of visitors to South Australia over winter. 
"This major exhibition has been another Australian exclusive complimenting the unique offerings on our state’s events calendar." 
Australian Hotels Association (SA) Chief Executive Officer, Anna Moeller said the past six months have delivered many record-breaking moments for the accommodation sector and indeed the broader hospitality industry. 
"Events such as the AFL Gather Round and LIV Golf held earlier in the year generated incredible demand for rooms, created an absolute vibrancy around the city, filling bars and restaurants at the same time," Ms Moeller said. 
"Since 2019 the Adelaide CBD has seen a 20% increase in hotel rooms, and more exciting developments are in the pipeline. We must keep the momentum going to fill this additional supply, particularly as the industry has seen a softening over winter and as cost-of-living pressures start to kick in. 
"Major events, a strong, visible and consistent marketing strategy and a healthy business events industry are all important demand drivers. To this end we thank the government for their commitment to continuing to invest in tourism."
Art Gallery of South Australia Director, Rhana Devenport ONZM said to witness the streams of visitors leaving this exhibition everyday with beaming smiles and in vivid conversation brings immense joy. 
"For the exhibition to already have surpassed visitation for any single exhibition post-Covid at AGSA demonstrates the public’s hunger for the arts and for Frida Kahlo as a twenty-first century muse who continues to be revered as a feminist and a singular political and creative force," Ms Devenport said.
"We encourage our audiences to plan their visit well in advance and take advantage of the Gallery’s extended opening hours, don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity’. 
"Through ambitious ticketed exhibitions like Frida & Diego: Love & Revolution, as well as the Gallery’s 364- day per year offering, AGSA continues to make a powerful contribution to the State Government’s goals to grow South Australia’s visitor economy."