Adelaide tipped to become Australia’s next Sydney or Melbourne for tourism

22 November, 2023

Tourism and hospitality experts claim Adelaide is nipping at the heels of its Eastern city counterparts to become the country’s ‘next Sydney or Melbourne, backed by reports that reveal the city now has the highest occupancy rates across Australia and New Zealand.

One such expert is Ian Horne, General Manager of leading tourism peak body, Australian Hotels Association South Australia (AHA | SA), who believes innovative hotel construction will be the cornerstone of Adelaide’s recipe for tourism success in terms of the cultural, arts, accommodation and sporting experiences on offer.

“Eos by SkyCity, which was constructed by Hansen Yuncken and opened its doors in 2020, is a massive piece of the puzzle for the emergence of Riverbank in Adelaide as Australia’s up and coming tourist destination”

– Ian Horne, General Manager Australian Hotels Association South Australia

The latest statistics from global data analytics firm STR revealed the average occupancy rate for Adelaide in May 2022 was 79%, ranking number one across 14 cities throughout Australia and New Zealand.

“With a wonderful array of business and activities, Adelaide’s Riverbank holds the 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.

“Situated amongst the city’s best arts and cultural centres, and a stone’s throw away from Adelaide Oval, Eos by SkyCity’s presence inserts new life into the Riverbank precinct, and we are excited to see it evolve.”

South Australia Tourism Minister Zoe Bettison said: “It is fantastic to see such strong results for our CBD and the recovery of our visitor economy.

“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 business visitors, more spending in cafes, restaurants, bars and retail, and importantly, a boost to local jobs.”

General Manager of Adelaide’s recently developed luxury hotel Eos by SkyCity, Jodi Brown, agrees with predictions that Adelaide tourism is rising, saying: “Since opening, we have consistently achieved extremely high occupancy levels. This indicates a promising uptick in South Australian tourism.”

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

Peter Salveson, CEO of Hansen Yuncken, the 104 year old construction group, said: “New cultural landmarks, such as the newly renovated Her Majesty’s Theatre in Adelaide, are essential to attracting local and international tourism.

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

Adelaide was also home to this year’s Australasian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE), held at Eos by SkyCity and sponsored by Hansen Yuncken, which saw over 1,200 industry representatives come together to share provocative industry insights in hotel design, construction and future hospitality trends.

Amid talk of the event being held in Adelaide again next year, Mr Salveson said: “We are excited to see innovative construction drive visitation to Adelaide, and to see what this means for the city’s future.

“There’s no reason Adelaide can’t join the ranks of Sydney and Melbourne as a tourism go-to destination. Hansen Yuncken is excited to be a part of this by delivering complex, community focused buildings with pride.”

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