21 Mar 2021

Record breaking mad March

Adelaide Fringe
Adelaide Fringe

South Australians have been celebrating a record-breaking festive start to the year.

Data released for March shows target-busting ticket sales for the Adelaide Festival, Fringe and WOMADelaide, the highest occupancy rates of any mainland Australian city and strong future bookings in our regions as we head toward Easter.

With the city this weekend farewelling the month-long party, it’s not long before South Australia serves up Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel – a welcome return after being postponed last year due to COVID-19.

Premier Steven Marshall thanked South Australians for turning up in huge numbers to support the Fringe, Festival and WOMADelaide events, and for driving record visitor numbers to the CBD and regional SA.

“We’ve see a massive effort from South Australians who have voted with their feet – and dollars – and have embraced the chance to get into the city, see a show, go to a restaurant, visit a gallery and stay in a hotel,” Premier Marshall said.

“The fact that Adelaide has just recorded the highest occupancy of any mainland Australian capital city is a remarkable demonstration of what we can do to boost our economy, create jobs and get SA back to business as fast as possible.

“I want to thank everyone for getting off their couches, into the city – or out to the regions – to support local business and experience what our great state has to offer.”

New statistics from the South Australian Tourism Commission highlight:

  • Adelaide reached a new post pandemic record-high, reaching 88 per cent occupancy on Saturday of the Adelaide Cup long weekend
  • Average occupancy for March so far is 74%, well above anything previously achieved (64% record set in January)
  • Occupancy in regional SA in February 2021 reached 60 per cent – the third month in a row regions have beaten the previous year’s result
  • Five of the best nights since the beginning of the pandemic have occurred in the last three weeks
  • The Adelaide Festival sold more than 61,000 tickets with a total value of $3.7 million - $1 million over target
  • The Fringe sold more than 600,000 tickets with a total value of $16.4 million, and attracted an audience of 2.7 million people (including free and ticketed events)
  • WOMADelaide attracted almost 19,000 people over the four nights
  • Ticket sales to the 2021 Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel festival are currently up by over 30% compared to 2020 (based on same time out from festival – six weeks from event). Many events have a waitlist and additional session times to some events have been added to fill this demand
  • Interstate traffic to the South Australian Tourism Commission’s southaustralia.com in the first two weeks of March doubled compared to the same period last year.

The festival season was on the back of a busy summer of sport, with the Day at the Drive and Santos Tour Down Under – both events giving tennis and cycling fans something to cheer about.

“This is a very strong start to the year for many operators in our visitor economy. Initiatives such as the Great State Voucher programs – rounds one, two and three – are designed to keep the dollars spending, and driving more economic stimulus across the state,” Mr Marshall said.

“We’re doing everything we can to keep businesses open, keep South Australians in jobs and keep our economy strong.

“We saw tens of thousands of interstaters flock to SA for our festivals this month and there is huge potential in the domestic market right now, while overseas holidays are off the cards and when we know interstate visitors spend three times as much as local tourists.

“The South Australian Tourism Commission is working with the major airlines, tourism operators and key partners to drive visitation to SA and deliver more events and experiences for visitors once here.

“Just weeks out from the Tasting Australia festival, the AFL season having fired up at Adelaide Oval last night, regional events like the Fringe in Mount Gambier on this weekend, and Great State Voucher bookings from round two still to be enjoyed over the next fortnight – there are plenty of reasons to keep getting out across SA and making the most of our great State.”