South Australia will invest $45 million to attract interstate and overseas visitors back to the state.
The investment will be front-ended with $15 million in 2022-23 to provide additional support to tourism businesses as the state emerges from the pandemic, with an additional $10 million per year across the forward estimates.
“Our tourism businesses have been hit hard over the past two years, with the visitor economy losing a quarter of its value,” said Premier Peter Malinauskas.
“South Australians have picked up the slack by exploring their own backyard, but borders are now open and it’s time to get interstate and international tourists back in SA.”
South Australia is starting to see the first signs of a tourism recovery, with average room occupancy hitting 79 per cent in April, the best month for hotels since the beginning of the pandemic.
Accommodation occupancy in regional SA in March 2022 reached an all-time March high, and the second highest of any month on record.
“Adelaide hotels experienced the best week on record, both pre and post pandemic, with more than 8400 rooms occupied each night of the week from Easter Sunday, while hotel occupancy across the Easter weekend was at nearly 90 per cent,” Tourism Minister Zoe Bettison said.
“Regional South Australia has enjoyed its biggest March yet and there are more Adelaide hotel rooms filled than any other time in history.
“What’s even more impressive about the latest data for our CBD, is the all-time high for rooms occupied comes after more hotels, such as Sofitel, Crowne Plaza, Eos by SkyCity, Majestic M Suites and Hotel Indigo, opened in Adelaide through the pandemic.”
Adelaide-based food event Tasting Australia recorded above pre-pandemic ticket sales as more business events returned to Adelaide, including the Australasian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE) global conference which attracted 1,200 key hoteliers and investors to Adelaide.
Eos by SkyCity general manager Jodi Brown said Tasting Australia and AHICE were contributors to the rise in occupancy.
“We’ve been thrilled with occupancy rates in general, but particularly in April which was a record-high month for us since opening in 2020,” she said.
“We’re delighted to report that the forecast for the coming months is also extremely promising, and that we’re seeing an increase in international guest reservations.”
Air connectivity is also improving with Fiji Airways bringing its direct international flights back to Adelaide and Qatar Airways set to increase its direct flights to South Australia from three to five a week.