13 May 2022

Regions smash targets | Oz to host Rugby World Cup | Illuminate Adelaide to the regions

South Australia’s regions are exceeding their regional tourism targets set for 2025 – an impressive four years ahead of schedule.

It comes as details of this year’s Illuminate Adelaide regional program are unveiled, Tasting Australia revels in its success, and Australia is confirmed to host the Rugby World Cup 2027 and 2029.

The ‘progress snapshots’ for the South Australian Regional Visitor Strategy 2025 released this week, show six of our 11 tourism regions have surpassed their 2025 visitor expenditure target.

The remarkable performance helped drive total visitor expenditure in regional SA in 2021 to $3.6 Billion, almost hitting the 2025 target of $4 Billion.

The Eyre Peninsula has beaten its target by a whopping $91 million, while Clare Valley and Kangaroo Island have exceeded their targets by $40 million. Other out-performing regions are the Barossa, Fleurieu Peninsula, and Murray River, Lakes & Coorong.

I want to acknowledge the huge amount of work and dedication across the industry that has gone into achieving these results. I also want to thank the RVS steering committee and its chair Helen Edwards – clearly, the strategy is working and delivering results for our regions.

In huge event news, a vote by the World Rugby Council overnight confirmed that Australia will host the Rugby World Cup in 2027 and 2029 – with Rugby Australia today holding a ‘national day of celebration’ to mark the occasion.

As the third-largest sporting event in the world, this is a massive win for Australia – and an opportunity to put our state on the global sporting stage and generate millions for our visitor economy.

I’m also really pleased to share news of the Illuminate Adelaide regional program. It will see three satellite locations – Renmark, Mount Gambier and Victor Harbor – bringing the benefits of our new wintertime festival across the state.

Having just wrapped up a successful Tasting Australia on Sunday, it is exciting to now look to the next major event on our state’s calendar.

The Australian Tourism Exchange 2022 kicks off on Sunday in Sydney, bringing international buyers together with operators and industry stakeholders. It will be the event's biggest return since before the pandemic and is a pivotal step towards the recovery of the travel industry.

A strong contingent of more than 50 South Australian operators will showcase their offering and help sell our state across the world. I look forward to attending ATE and driving that cause.

Read on for details and other updates.

Rodney Harrex
Chief Executive

Regional SA meets and beats 2025 targets

SA’s regions are meeting and beating their regional tourism targets set for 2025, with six of the state’s 11 tourism regions topping their 2025 visitor expenditure target.

The Eyre Peninsula has beaten its target by $91 million, while Clare Valley and Kangaroo Island have exceeded their respective 2025 targets by $40 million. Other regions to top it include the Barossa, Fleurieu Peninsula, and Murray River, Lakes & Coorong.

The targets are set as part of the South Australian Regional Visitor Strategy 2025, which includes priority action areas identified by the state’s 11 tourism regions after extensive consultation with more than 800 stakeholders.

More information

Rugby World Cup set for Australia

In a massive win for sports fans, the World Rugby Council has confirmed overnight that Australia will host the Rugby World Cup 2027 and 2029.

It marks a historic day, meaning Australia will become the first country in history to host the showpiece men’s Rugby event for a third time in 2027, while also welcoming the women’s tournament for the first time in 2029.

The two events are projected to generate $2.8 billion in direct and indirect expenditure to the national economy. Should SA be confirmed as a host territory, the direct expenditure for the state is estimated to be around $90 million.

See details

Illuminate Adelaide brightens the regions

Australia’s newest major event is brightening regional South Australia from the river to the coast.

Renmark, Mount Gambier and Victor Harbor will light up as part of three regional installations of Illuminate Adelaide featuring a mix of international, national and local artists.

It follows the success of regional activations in the inaugural year in Mt Gambier and Tumby Bay, when more than 16,000 visitors revelled in the celebration of innovation, art, light, music and technology.

The regional presentations are an initiative supported by the South Australian Tourism Commission, in partnership with regional councils and award-winning artists.

The 2022 Illuminate Adelaide regional program starts with In Depth in Renmark from 3 June to 2 July.

Find out more

Tasting Australia serves up success and sets 2023

Australia's premier eating and drinking festival, Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel, has served up the biggest crowds since the pandemic began.

More than 60,000 visited the festival hub, Town Square, over the past 10 days and even more attended events across regional SA.

Regional events included an epicurean feast in the Riverland, underground stay in Coober Pedy, and a day trip to Coffin Bay.

Managed by SATC’s Events South Australia, this year's Tasting Australia supported around 150 local businesses and further cemented our reputation as the festival state.

It all returns next year, with Tasting Australia 2023 on 28 April to 7 May.


Three-peat for Adelaide –major hotel conference win

In a ‘hat trick’ coup for Australia’s most liveable city and the recovery of SA’s $2 billion conference sector, the Australasian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE) will return to Adelaide in 2023 – its third consecutive year.

Announced at AHICE 2022 at Adelaide Oval last week, the conference brought 1,200 delegates from over 40 countries to discuss the direction of the hotel sector.

AHICE 2023 will be held in May 2023.

See details

Reminder to nominate – SA Tourism Awards

Nominate your tourism business for the South Australian Tourism Awards before it’s too late.

Entry is open to all South Australian tourism businesses with more than 25 categories to choose from.

Managed by the Tourism Industry Council of SA (TiCSA), the Awards celebrate and acknowledge tourism businesses that have demonstrated outstanding achievements and success throughout the year.

Nominations close from 30 May.

Nominate now

Hills hotel among the best on the planet

Tripadvisor has revealed the winners of its annual Travellers’ Choice Awards for Hotels – a list of the most-loved hotels around the world.

An icon of the Adelaide Hills, Mount Lofty House, has been voted by travellers as the #1 best hotel in the South Pacific – putting it as Australia’s best hotel.

According to TripAdvisor: “This hotel is no stranger to the Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards. Built in 1852, the historic Mount Lofty House is the premier destination for luxury escapes, fine dining and boutique day spa experiences. The 30-acre estate overlooks the beautiful Piccadilly Valley.”

Find out more

Another ultimate winery in South Australia

The latest Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia destination is Hardy’s Tintara in the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Supported by Tourism Australia, the UWEA is a hand-selected collection of Australia’s premium wineries which offer memorable experiences based on world-class wine, warm hospitality, and culinary excellence.

It aims to raise Australia’s profile as one of the world’s leading wine tourism destinations.

As the wine state, Hardy’s will join fellow SA wineries on the list – spanning the Adelaide Hills, Barossa and McLaren Vale.

Discover ultimate wineries

Tourism Grants for Indigenous Business – round two funding

Round two of the Tourism Grants for Indigenous Business funding is now open.

Managed by the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA), the grants aim to increase the number of Indigenous-owned tourism products available in the market.

This grant round will support Indigenous-owned tourism businesses and Indigenous-owned community organisations to plan for, or grow, their tourism businesses.

Eligible grant activities may include: the acquisition of equipment, minor capital works, tourism product development, and more.

Applications close 14 June 2022.

Details and to apply


See Industry Update – 13 May 2022.