The Festival State is thriving in winter

South Australia’s tourism industry continues to go from strength to strength as the state’s regions and capital city continue to host winter events that attract thousands of visitors from interstate and overseas, showcasing what the State has to offer.

Latest data shows average regional occupancy in June 2022 was on par with June 2021 – a time when regional SA saw the best June result on record and hit the seventh consecutive month to break regional tourism records. 
Accommodation occupancy in regional South Australia was 56 per cent in June 2022, well above the pre-COVID June 2019 result of 48 per cent.  

Festivals are continuing to give more reasons for visitors to keep seeing SA - from the Tasting Australia Winter Series that saw 26 events held across six regions throughout the month of July, to a series of installations of Illuminate Adelaide brightening regional South Australia from the river to the coast. 
On the back of a successful first regional activation of Illuminate Adelaide in Renmark which attracted more than 11,000 visitors over four weeks, the final two regional installations include the return of Digital Garden to Mount Gambier from August 5, and the new Harbor Lights in Victor Harbor from August 26.
In the CBD, close to 100,000 people have experienced the extraordinary work of light, technology and music over the past fortnight of Illuminate Adelaide’s Light Cycles season, which has been extended until August 14 due to the huge demand.
With almost double the ticket sales made this year and many sold out sessions, Light Creatures at the Adelaide Zoo has been extended for one more weekend (Friday 5 and Saturday 6 August) while Wisdom of AI Light will run until August 14.
This weekend, the Winter Reds series returns to celebrate day and night at wineries and iconic venues across the Adelaide Hills, inviting visitors to experience the warmth of the region with open fires, red wines and rustic fare.
For those seeking an adrenaline rush, SA’s largest ticketed regional sporting event, The Repco Supercars championship is on this weekend at The Bend Motorsport Park (Friday July 29 – Sunday 31). Event organisers are promising the biggest weekend of racing and entertainment yet in the OTR Supersprint’s five-year history.
Quotes attributable to Zoe Bettison
SA is the go-to destination even during the winter months and regional tourism has certainly been our powerhouse through the pandemic, making 57 per cent of South Australia’s visitor economy.
It is important to acknowledge the huge amount of work and dedication across the industry that has gone into achieving these results solidifying the State’s position as the go-to destination for world-class events, award-winning food and beverage, and stunning landscapes. 
Now that the borders are open, we need to make sure we give locals and potential travellers the opportunity to visit our beautiful state and enjoy all that SA has to offer; all these regional events are a great opportunity to bring people from all backgrounds and cultures together and the best way to raise the profile of South Australia across the world.
Quotes attributable to Ian Horne, General Manager/CEO Australian Hotels Association (SA)
A number of factors influenced this continuing winter recovery, not the least being the influence of major events like Illuminate and the OTR Super Sprint at the Bend Motor Sport Park.
Winter months of June through to August are historically the toughest with the COVID years of 2020 and 2021 woeful, however, with the focus on events and the renewed confidence of business and leisure travellers, Adelaide and SA accommodation providers have much to be satisfied about.
Of course, it only gets better as spring and summer approach and include a new Adelaide 500 car race and international cricket.
Quotes attributable to Rachael Azzopardi and Lee Cumberlidge, Illuminate Adelaide Co- Founders and Creative Directors
The number of people that have descended on the city for Illuminate Adelaide has been incredible. We are overwhelmed and delighted to have shared this event with so many locals and interstate guests.
With so many sold out shows for three of our ticketed events, Wisdom of AI Light, Light Cycles and Light Creatures, we have extended these seasons.
Illuminate Adelaide is also committed to programming and presenting a series of satellite events that explore art, light and technology in our regions.
We urge everyone to throw on a coat and a beanie and celebrate Illuminate Adelaide and all it has to offer in the city and regional SA.