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Is Adelaide the next tourism hotspot?

By Zarah Torazzo
28 July 2022 | 1 minute read
adelaide riverbank reb

Move over Melbourne and Sydney — Adelaide is the next go-to destination for tourism, according to the city’s hotel sector.

Hospitality experts claim that the South Australian capital is tipped to become the next tourism hotspot, as the city’s accommodation occupancy rate becomes the highest across the Australasian region and innovative builds take its offerings to the next level. 

A new report from STR revealed that the average occupancy rate for Adelaide in May 2022 was 79 per cent, putting the city at the top of the rankings and ahead of 14 major cities in Australia and New Zealand. 

Adelaide also bested its southern eastern city counterparts, as Sydney sat at seventh place with a 67 per cent occupancy rate while Melbourne was at the tail end of the list at 12th place with 58 per cent. 

The data from the global data analytics firm was welcomed by Minister Zoe Bettison, who said that “it is fantastic to see such strong results for our CBD and the recovery of our visitor economy”.

The figures mark a comeback for the city’s accommodation sector, which was hit hard by the pandemic, as business and tourist travel halted to almost a standstill in the last two years.  

“We know the city was hit hard during the pandemic — so to see it coming back busier than ever, to reach a new post-pandemic record and to have the highest occupancy of any other city in Australia shows the strength of tourism in our state. 

“It means more visitors into businesses, more spending in cafes, restaurants, bars and retail, and importantly, a boost to local jobs,” Ms Bettison stated. 

Australian Hotels Association South Australia (AHA|SA) general manager Ian Horne noted that innovative hotel construction would be the foundation of Adelaide’s formula for tourism success in terms of the cultural, arts, accommodation and sporting experiences on offer.  

He highlighted that Adelaide’s Riverbank, which has been home to major infrastructure developments in the last two years, can now rival similar pockets of tourism hotspots in Melbourne and Sydney. 

Mr Horne said that recent construction projects like Eos by SkyCity — which opened its doors in 2020 — were “a big piece of the puzzle for the emergence of Riverbank in Adelaide as Australia’s up-and-coming tourist destination”. 

The opening of Eos by SkyCity follows the $66 million redevelopment of Adelaide’s landmark cultural centre, Her Majesty’s Theatre. 

Construction and renovation work behind EoS by SkyCity and Her Majesty’s Theatre were both completed by the Hansen Yuncken firm. 

“With a wonderful array of business and activities, Adelaide’s Riverbank holds potential to evolve into the likes of Melbourne’s Southbank, or Sydney’s Circular Quay over coming years, and innovative construction and development in the area will be pivotal to this,” said Mr Horne. 

Peter Salveson, the chief executive of Hansen Yuncken, said that updating the cityscape through renovations and new developments “are essential to attracting local and international tourism”. 

“We are honoured to be involved in the development of landmark hospitality and cultural heritage sites that will play a pivotal role in Adelaide’s post-pandemic revitalisation,” he stated.

Is Adelaide the next tourism hotspot?
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