Adelaide tourism recovery trumps rates of other major cities

Last updated 27 Oct, 2022

Adelaide's tourism sector has rebounded from the impacts of the COVID-19 faster than any other major Australian city thanks to an influx of visitors to the CBD after dark and on weekends, a new industry report shows.

The Tourism and Transport Forum – the peak industry group for the tourism, transport and aviation sectors – commissioned data that showed Adelaide’s total visitation numbers were at 86 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, ahead of Brisbane (74 per cent), Melbourne (71 per cent) and Sydney (67 per cent).

Weekend visitors returned to 100 per cent of pre-COVID levels on average, while the number of visitors on weeknights after 10pm surpassed pre-covid levels, peaking at 112 per cent after midnight.

State Tourism Minister Zoe Bettison said events, arts and culture had helped drive visitation momentum.

“It will only continue to surge in South Australia, when we look at what’s on in the weeks and months ahead,” Ms Bettison said.

"We know the CBD was disproportionately impacted during the pandemic, hit hard by the downturn in interstate, international and corporate travel – so this result, on the back of an all-time record occupancy for Adelaide hotels just last month, is a huge win."

According to figures provided by the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC), there are approximately 25,000 people, on average, in Adelaide’s CBD per hour on the weekend, and approximately 35,000 people per hour, on average, each weekday.

The TFF report, compiled by DSpark, surveys the movement of eight million Australians, or nearly one third of the adult population, in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth CBDs.

TTF Chief Executive Officer Margy Osmond said lockdowns had “faded into memory”.

"Live entertainment and major events are the dominant force driving people back into the city at nights and on weekends, when we’re seeing the biggest recovery since the pandemic,” she said.

"This data shows how crucial our arts and events industries have been in recent months and they’ll continue to help our cities bounce back.”