Major events spur Adelaide hotel occupancy to new highs

major events
The inaugural Harvest Rock music festival helped boost hotel occupancy levels in Adelaide.

The first of a spate of major events in South Australia has spurred an all-time high for Adelaide’s CBD hotels with new data showing a record-breaking number of hotel rooms were filled for the inaugural Harvest Rock music, food, wine and brew festival.

The Saturday of the festival saw 9,105 room nights occupied in Adelaide, toppling the previous record of 9,001 rooms occupied and driving occupancy to 91 per cent, the highest post-pandemic occupancy rate.

Adelaide’s visitor economy is set for another boost this week, with the finale of the Shannons Adelaide Rally heralding the start of the VALO Adelaide 500 week.

Ticket sales for this year’s event are going strong, with more than 250,000 people expected to attend.

The SA Government has committed $2 million to provide four years of certainty for the Adelaide Rally, which is the largest tarmac rally of its type in the world, attracting participants and spectators from interstate and overseas.

Next year’s event is expected to be even bigger, with an urban night stage and second town stage planned.

The 2023 Adelaide Rally will occur one week prior to the Adelaide 500 on 17-19 November.

Premier Peter Malinauskas said the boost for hotels was a clear demonstration of the economic value of the government’s approach to major events.

“By securing big events and bringing back the Adelaide 500, we are filling hotels, bars, restaurants and pubs, businesses which all suffered through the pandemic,” he said.

“Our decision to secure the VALO Adelaide 500 in November/December means we can spread out visitors across the year.

“We’ve also delivered on our promise to bring back the Motorsport Festival in March, a week out from the Melbourne Formula 1 Grand Prix, giving even more reason for international visitors to stop, stay and spend in our state.”

Tourism Minister Zoe Bettison said it has been an incredible start to what will be a festival season to remember.

“We’ve already hit the highest room nights occupied in Adelaide than ever before and reached a new post-pandemic occupancy record,” she said.

“With strong hotel forward bookings for the VALO Adelaide 500 which will only get higher as the weekend draws closer, our city tourism operators are set to reap the rewards of South Australia’s back-to-back major events.”

Motor Sport Board’s SA CEO, Mark Warren, said they are looking forward to welcoming fans back through the gates on Thursday after more than 1,000 days since the last event.

“South Australia is synonymous with motorsport and today is an opportunity to showcase what we have to offer. It’s good to be back,” he said.

Massive Events Corp CEO Tim Possingham said with state investment in motorsport he could see “a bright long-term future ahead for events like the Shannons Adelaide Rally and Adelaide Motorsport Festival”.

“In South Australia, we have a unique offering, with a beautiful racing circuit in such close proximity to the city and incredible tourism destinations,” he said.

“Clustering events like the Shannons Adelaide Rally and the VALO Adelaide 500 allows visitors to get the most out of their visit and see everything the State has to offer.”