23 Apr 2023

LIV Golf Adelaide tees off success

Pepsi Max Footy Festival - AFL Gather Round in Adelaide
Pepsi Max Footy Festival - AFL Gather Round in Adelaide

As the first LIV Golf tournament on Australian shores tees off today for its last day, the inaugural event is being heralded a success by tourism and hospitality operators.

The overwhelming demand for LIV Golf Adelaide which saw all ground-pass tickets sell out almost as soon as they were released – and more than 63,000 tickets sold across the tournament – has translated into hotel and restaurant bookings as operators report a strong weekend.

Eos by SkyCity is at 100 per cent occupancy, while Sofitel Adelaide reports the LIV Golf Adelaide tournament has increased visitation from the high-yield interstate market.

Data from Tourism Research Australia shows the economic potential of golf tourism is significant, with the average domestic and international golf traveller spending significantly more per trip than non-golf travellers in Australia.

The average spend per person, per trip that included a golf activity in the year ending September 2022 is $6,600 for an international visitor and $2,100 for an interstate visitor; compared to $4,300 and $1,300, respectively, for a trip that did not include a golf activity.

With more than 63,000 tickets sold across the LIV Golf Adelaide tournament – including around 30 per cent of those interstate and 10 per cent from overseas – the event is expected to provide a multi-million-dollar boost to the state’s visitor economy.

It comes as new figures from hotel market data analytics firm STR – which takes data directly from hotel reservation systems – shows the first AFL Gather Round has kicked Adelaide hotel takings to a record-high, with the Friday and Saturday of the footy festival scoring $6.8 million in hotel bookings alone.

The Saturday of Gather Round now ranks the highest ever revenue for a single night on record for Adelaide accommodation at $3.5 million in takings, and the Friday ranks the second highest on record at $3.3 million.
Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison said the first Australian LIV Golf tournament, held right here in South Australia, has been "an absolute hit".

"Not only did we see the insatiable demand to tickets upon release, but the atmosphere over the festival has been electric," Minister Bettison said. 

"On top of that, the event has generated valuable bookings for hotels and accommodation in the city and nearer the beach, and it’s got out-of-staters spending on hospitality.

"Hotels, restaurants and wineries have been experiencing additional bookings while the Adelaide Central Market, the Adelaide Airport and various retail stores and shopping districts are also reaping the benefits of an influx of people from out of state and overseas.
"Coupled with Gather Round last week, it certainly has been an extremely busy time for the hotels across the city, but these events have been a win for all businesses from hotels to retail stores, restaurants, wineries and bars, to taxi drivers and the corner store and local cafes.
"With data showing the travelling golf fan spends more than the average holidaymaker – and with a high proportion of ticket sales from interstate and overseas – we can be sure this event has created multi-millions for our state, hot on the heels of that provided by the Gather Round.

"Players and LIV Golf executives who have travelled from Europe, the UK, USA, NZ, South Africa and South America have been visiting our regions exploring iconic destinations which they then share with their social media followers, showcasing South Australia’s unique tourism offerings all around the globe.  
"This is exactly what our tourism economy needs as we continue to recover from the pandemic and focus on bringing international visitors back to our State.
"We know that when people come here, many visit again and that is why our investments in these new major events are so crucial. The economic benefit of investing in major events has now been well demonstrated over the course of last weekend and already what we are seeing throughout the course of this weekend.
"There is a great sense of pride within Adelaide and within the tourism and hospitality industry creating a momentum never seen before in SA." 
General Manager of Eos by SkyCity, Jodi Brown said: "As Adelaide’s most luxurious accommodation and the LIV Golf Adelaide hotel partner of choice, we’re thrilled to report that we are at 100% occupancy this weekend."

"Importantly, for the first time since opening in late 2020, the majority of our guests are international visitors," she said. 
"We’re not only showcasing Adelaide’s most luxurious accommodation to the world, but these guests also have a high level of expenditure which flows on throughout the precinct at our highly awarded signature restaurants and bars, such as the iconic Sol Rooftop which is the official 19th hole for the LIV Golf Adelaide tournament."

Co-Owner of Fugazzi restaurant, Laura Sharrad said "it’s been a big month at Fugazzi, we’ve definitely noticed more new customers, more interstate and overseas travellers, and more walk-ins especially pre and post events like the Gather Round matches."

"In fact, during the month of April so far at Fugazzi, 70 per cent of our diners have been new customers and 45 per cent of those being interstate or overseas travellers," she said. 

"These are definitely strong indicators of new money coming into the state and through our doors."

General Manager of Sofitel Adelaide, Rachael Harman said the Sofitel Adelaide is "enjoying a strong period off the back of LIV Golf Adelaide, not least of all because we are a proud hotel partner and events like this help create great energy throughout the hotel and for visitors to the city generally".
"With the uplift in international visitors to the event, we’re seeing 50% of our guests from overseas this weekend," she said. 
"The Sofitel Adelaide proudly remains the hotel of choice, not just from the local staycation market but it’s been great to see an increasing trend of high-yield interstate travellers blending their work or family trips with leisure so they can attend such events as LIV Golf Adelaide.
"Looking ahead we are certainly feeling positive with Tasting Australia, NRL State of Origin and FIFA Women’s World Cup on the agenda, and as a proud South Australian, it's exciting to have so many world-class offerings which help drive visitation to our state and we enjoy delivering great South Australian hotel experiences with a refined French sense of hospitality."