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Progress Against Objectives - December 2017

South Australia - a growing destination choice for international and domestic travellers

2017 Objectives

Status (as at December 2017)


Increase the value of our tourism sector from $5.2 billion to $6.3 billion per annum by June 2017 (on the way to our 2020 target of $8.0 billion).


The value of South Australia’s tourism sector was $6.3 billion in the year to June 2017.

Increase tourism direct employment from 31,000 to 36,000, on the way to our target of 10,000 additional jobs by 2020.


Direct employment in the tourism sector was 36,700 in the year to June 2016.

Increase tourism expenditure in regional areas from $2.3 billion to $2.8 billion.

On Track

Regional expenditure was $2.5 billion in the year to September 2017. Final data for this objective is expected to be made available in March 2018.

Attract two additional major events each year


As at June 2017, 38 events have been secured through the Events Bid Fund, which are forecast to inject more than $126 million into the economy. Major events in 2017 include the boxing rematch between Anthony Mundine and Danny Green in February 2017 and the 10th Pacific School Games (December 2017).

Attract 78,000 conference delegates to the Adelaide Convention Centre, generating 312,000 bed nights.


As at June 2017, confirmed bookings at the Adelaide Convention Centre for the period 2015 to 2017 are 107,758 visitors and 535,435 bed nights.

Establish an international reputation for our premium food and wine experiences.


Adelaide, South Australia became a member of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network in July 2016. The commencement of direct flights between Adelaide and Guangzhou, and Adelaide and Qatar, sees South Australia’s premium food and wine products, including meat and dairy, flying out of Adelaide to key export destinations.

Establish at least one new branded, 5–star plus accommodation in the Adelaide CBD.


The five-star, 170 room Mayfair Hotel opened in 2015 after major upgrade works and was named as the fifth best hotel in Australia and New Zealand in the 2017 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards.Construction is proposed to start on the five-star, $140 million Sofitel hotel in early 2018 with a planned opening in late 2020. The $330 million redevelopment of the Adelaide Casino has commenced, which will include a 123-room luxury hotel. In September 2017, the state government invited global hotel chains and qualified organisations to lodge a registration of interest in developing and subsequently operating a minimum five-star hotel at the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site.

Enhance our thriving live music scene.


Live music in South Australia provided 6,300 jobs and a $375 million economic contribution to the state’s economy in 2015-16.

The annual Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR) Awards and concurrent Music Conference will be held in Adelaide for the next three years (2017–2019).

The state government’s Live Music Events Fund has also helped to facilitate Umbrella: Winter City Sounds, a live music festival held in 2016 and 2017.

Further enhance South Australia's position as the cycling state.


In 2017, 840,000 people attended the Santos Tour Down Under, 43,000 of whom travelled from interstate or overseas. The event injected a record $56.5 million into South Australia’s visitor economy and created the equivalent of 683 full time jobs in the same year.

In June 2017, it was announced that the state government and the Adelaide City Council had agreed $12 million of funding to upgrade cycling infrastructure across the CBD of Adelaide and expand the free bike-share program.

The state government is investing $1.5m to turn Mount Lofty and the surrounding Adelaide Hills into a world-class mountain biking destination.

Develop a reputation for service excellence and unique visitor experiences.


The state government has funded the South Australian Tourism Industry Council to conduct ‘Service Excellence’ training for tourism operators throughout South Australia. Between November 2016 and 30 June 2017, 25 workshops were run, attracting more than 500 participants. In line with the workshops, service excellence was a key focus of the 2017 South Australian Tourism Industry Council Conference.

Lonely Planet listed South Australia as one of the top five must-see regions for 2017. The Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail was launched in October 2016 and was subsequently announced by Lonely Planet as the third “best new opening” in the world for 2017.Shark cage diving contributes approximately $12.8 million into the local economy of Port Lincoln each year, attracting tourists from all over the world. The opening of the Adelaide Oval Roof Climb experience in April 2016 is providing a unique visitor experience at an iconic Adelaide destination.