18 Mar 2024

Record-high February, major tourism event secured, & more…

South Australia shone at the 2023 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, with 10 operators taking home awards and showcasing why our state is a must-visit destination to our country's tourism leaders.

With this year the first to see Excellence in Accessible Tourism join the national program of awards, it was fantastic that the Adelaide Fringe was awarded Gold in this category. Not only does this recognise the festival’s contributions to catering to the accessible market but it is a wonderful coup for our state to claim this inaugural accolade.

Another special mention to Beach Huts Middleton which took home Gold for 4-4.5 Star Deluxe Accommodation. Congratulations to all our South Australian winners.

In another great win, it was announced that Adelaide has the honour of hosting the 40th anniversary of the National Tourism Awards next year.

The awards are expected to attract up to 800 tourism industry leaders and business owners to our state from 20-21 March 2025 - a great opportunity to showcase our world-class products and experiences on the national stage.

We celebrated a record-breaking achievement as latest data from hotel analytics firm, STR shows hotel occupancy across greater metropolitan Adelaide in February 2024 was the highest of any February on record. Each night of February saw an average of 8,086 hotel rooms occupied – that’s an extra 890 rooms every single night on last February.

This was boosted by the line-up of festivals including Adelaide Fringe and Adelaide Festival, as well as major conferences and a packed-out P!NK concert at Adelaide Oval.

With events in the spotlight at the moment, it was fantastic to announce we have locked in WOMADelaide for another five years. Festival organisers shared attendance over the four days approached 98,000 – with more four-day passes purchased than ever before. To continue to host this world-class event until at least 2029 is welcome news for our industry.

Although the curtain may have come down on our Mad March festival season yesterday, SA continues to gear up for our next big festival – AFL Gather Round. Today, the Premier announced details of the beloved Norwood Food & Wine Festival which will return to close out the footy festival on Sunday 7 April.

The event is set to deliver a major economic boost for the local community while showcasing our state’s food, wine and produce. Crowds will enjoy a vibrant ‘festival of footy’ atmosphere and a major headline act – The Temper Trap.

And that’s not the only major announcement today, as tickets for the British & Irish Lions Tour at Adelaide Oval go on sale. With unprecedented demand for tickets during presale windows, it is expected today’s first release of General Public on-sale will be snapped up by keen rugby fans from SA, interstate and overseas for the match on 12 July 2025.

But before then, thousands of fans will witness a historic match at the Adelaide Oval when the Matildas play China PR in an international friendly on 31 May. The pre-sale period saw 30,000 tickets snapped up in just four hours and the current allocation of General Public tickets exhausted in just one hour – setting up the match to be a real win for tourism in SA.

Emma Terry

Chief Executive Officer
South Australian Tourism Commission

Read Industry Update - 18 March 2024