Published: October 24, 2018

Adelaide’s reputation as a must-visit destination has been firmly cemented with international accolades from travel-trendsetters. 

Vogue declared Adelaide as one of their top ten places to travel in summer and Lonely Planet ranked South Australia among the world’s top five must-see destinations. With our picturesque Park Lands, a world-renowned events and festivals calendar and a dynamic food and wine culture, it comes as no surprise.

“The city of Adelaide is South Australia’s most visited destination and a gateway to our world-renowned regions and the Australian outback,” says Lord Mayor Martin Haese.

From March 2017 to March 2018, international visitation to South Australia increased by 9 per cent with 475,000 international visitors. Adelaide welcomed 84 per cent of those visitors who stayed for an accumulative 8.5 million nights, proving the allure of our city’s offerings. The Adelaide Airport is in the throes of a $165 million expansion of its main terminal to provide an internationally competitive experience for passengers. The expansion is expected to attract more flight paths and additional services from international carriers.

CEO of Culshaw Group of Companies/Majestic Roof Garden Hotel, Eoin (Owen) Loftus believes international visitor expenditure is critical for his business – representing approximately a third of his guests.

 “International markets often stay longer, spend more and disperse into our regions which is most important. Solid international base of clientele, helps diversify our market mix enabling more steady flows of guests right throughout the year,” Mr Loftus said.

Incentive tourism groups are a growing and lucrative market for Adelaide and South Australia. Unlike other business events, incentive tourism is usually conducted purely for entertainment rather than educational or professional purposes. In June 2017, a group of 2714 delegates from a direct selling company in China visited over a two-week period and generated $11.2 million in economic benefit. Adelaide and South Australia are becoming recognised as a destination of choice for these incentive groups.

The substantial growth of visitors to Adelaide is reflected in the expansion of luxury accommodation options. Global brands such as Sofitel Hotel, Crowne Plaza and Marriott's Westin are entering the marketplace alongside plans for Adelaide Casino to incorporate a hotel offering in its $330 million expansion.

Visitors with discerning palettes are flocking to Adelaide to experience the gourmet food and wine journey firsthand, with South Australia accounting for 61 per cent of Australia’s total wine exports in 2017. A JLL Australia report has also revealed that Adelaide's gourmet hospitality offerings aren't just delicious but also a key driver of local real estate development, tourism and retail spending.

 “Our food and wine offering, abundant local produce and emerging laneway and small bar culture have encouraged city vibrancy and provide a reason for visitors to come and experience Adelaide” says Lord Mayor Martin Haese

Find out more about the local tourism industry in the Visitor Economy Action Plan.