28 Mar 2024

One week ‘til kick off, EOIs opening, long-weekend & more…

As we prepare for an influx of visitors to head to South Australia for AFL Gather Round next week, recent announcements are already proving this year will be bigger and better than the last.

Announced yesterday, the new Gather in the Hills – Hahndorf Footy Festival is a free two-day community event that will entice footy fans to head to the Hills – with or without a match ticket.

For those heading to the games in Mount Barker, there will be a new AFL Family Zone - as well as the return of The Terrace, which will boast an expanded footprint so more footy goers can enjoy the best of the region’s food and beverage.

Over the weekend, the festivities will help boost visitation and expenditure to local businesses – aiming to build on the $2 million that was pumped into the region’s visitor economy in Gather Round’s inaugural year.

The benefits of Gather Round will be felt across the state, with a Footy Festival program of more than 35 events leveraging the influx of visitors to SA. More than 40,000 people from interstate attended last year’s event, and we know more than half of those travelled to SA by road. We have been working to capitalise on this to help boost the benefits on the increase of self-drive visitors to our industry. 

The celebrations don’t stop there, with Singapore Airlines marking its 40th anniversary in Adelaide this Sunday – making them our longest-serving international airline. The airline generates nearly $100 million in tourism spend for the state each year - and these figures are only set to grow with plans by the airline to increase its daily flights to Adelaide to 10 per week in October.

A reminder that Expressions of Interest to be part of our Experience Development Program will open from next Tuesday, 2 April until Monday 15 April. The pilot program is designed to provide tourism businesses with the tools they need to deliver world-class tourism offerings. 

In a milestone for our Murray River recovery efforts, yesterday the booking period closed for the final River Revival Voucher round. With voucher holders travelling until 30 June, the vouchers will help boost visitation to our flood affected operators beyond the peak warmer seasons. This will build on the program which has so far injected more than $10.7 million into our Murray River regions.

It is great to hear operators are gearing up for the sunny Easter long weekend, which typically sees visitors heading out to the regions and enjoying what our state has to offer. The holiday brings us into the start of a bumper April, with not only AFL Gather Round but school holidays and LIV Golf Adelaide helping boost visitation and expenditure throughout the month.

Emma Terry

Chief Executive Officer
South Australian Tourism Commission

Read Industry Update - 28 March 2024