July marks record spending in the city

Last updated 28 Nov, 2023

Total spend in the city reached new heights in July, with latest Adelaide Economic Development Agency (AEDA) figures showing the CBD and North Adelaide recorded their strongest month-to-date since December 2021.

It comes as local hospitality operator and AEDA Board Member Oliver Brown said “sleepy winters are a thing of the past”, with more people coming into the city on weekends.

The figures showed spending estimates were $365 million in July in comparison to $342 million in June.

It was also the strongest July on record.

The nighttime economy contributed to a third of overall spend, with spending levels between 6 pm – 6 am higher in July than in ‘Mad March’ this year.

Whilst year-on-year foot-traffic remained down as city workers continued the hybrid working model, foot-traffic was busier in July when compared to June, especially after 6 pm on Friday and Saturday nights.

Figures showed that dining and entertainment was a significant contributor to the record result, with the figures showing a 16 per cent increase in the sector since June.

The city hosted Illuminate Adelaide, Cellar Door Fest, Adelaide Guitar Festival, Umbrella Festival and NAIDOC Week as well, as well as a number of well-attended AFL matches at Adelaide Oval in July.

Data from Illuminate Adelaide showed there were 1.2 million attendances across the curated program that celebrates art, technology, light and music.

The Illuminate Adelaide program included 29 ticketed events with 260,000 tickets sold. Overall, it attracted 1.2 million visitors.

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Big Easy Group and AEDA Board Member Oliver Brown said the CBD buzzed in July.

“Sleepy winters are a thing of the past,” Oliver said.

“Illuminate Adelaide has shown that people are keen to get out in winter.

“We have multiple venues in the East End and over the past seven years we have never seen so much activity and trade for a winter's month."

Michael Andrewartha, Director of East End Cellars said: “The CBD was an exciting and safe place for young people and families to enjoy the event. The demographic was diverse and ranged between four years old and 95 years old. It was amazing to see.”

Light Cycles by Canadian multimedia studio Moment Factory returned to the Adelaide Botanic Garden as part of Illuminate Adelaide, attracting over 123,000 people.

Light Creatures lured audiences back to Adelaide Zoo after dark, with over 52,000 people attending.

Both return seasons were extended to keep up with unwavering demand.

Illuminate Adelaide Co- Founders and Creative Directors Rachael Azzopardi and Lee Cumberlidge said: “We are overwhelmed and delighted to have shared this event with so many locals and interstate guests. We urged everyone to throw on a coat and a beanie and celebrate Illuminate Adelaide and we are so delighted that we reached so many people across the program.”

Deputy Premier, Minister Susan Close said: “The number of visitors who descended on the city for Illuminate Adelaide has been incredible, helping reinvigorate the CBD and provide an economic boost to hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars across the city.”