The other side of the Fabulaide story: why Adelaide is becoming a top tourism destination


a recent series of articles by Mike Brown in The Fifth Estate raised questions about urban design in Adelaide. But growing tourism interest in the city and some recent developments point to another side to this story.

Adelaide’s growing focus on youth, culture, and overall better “user experience” for visitors and residents is putting our city of churches in good stead to become Australia’s favorite capital city.

Reminding the country of the city’s proud and long standing position as “the festival state”, Adelaide’s post-pandemic revitalization is well and truly underway.

Adelaide’s progressiveness to underpin this growth is highlighted through initiatives such as the city’s focus on sustainable development, plans to help achieve net zero targets with the CBD’s greenest office building, or the clean energy conferences hosted in Adelaide each year — just to name a few.

These developments, among others, have already helped spur an uptick in hotel occupancy rates.

Adelaide’s magnificent Her Majesty’s Theatrefor instance, was recently renovated in a series of projects designed to attract local and international tourism.

The $66 million redevelopment completed in June 2020 saw the cultural icon become a larger, more accessible venue with state-of-the-art facilities for performers, production teams and audiences.

The restoration of heritage-listed landmark cultural sites such as these are playing a pivotal role in the post-pandemic revitalization of Adelaide, and Australia. They are welcoming a new wave of arts and culture back to the stage for generations to come.

And all signs point to this post-pandemic recovery already taking place. While visitation has dropped dramatically in recent years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this report from Tourism South Australia shows clear signs of resurgence.

Shorter and local trips (domestic day visits) make up a huge percentage of these numbers, indicating that Covid-19 may have encouraged Australians to appreciate what domestic, and perhaps underrated, destinations such as Adelaide truly have to offer.

The Sky City Adelaide Casino Expansion project by Hansen Yuncken and Buchan Group. Image: Hansen Yuncken.

Another project, which errs on the side of modernity rather than heritage, contributing to Adelaide’s recent uptick in tourism is the completion of Eos by SkyCity.

Underpinning the emergence of Adelaide’s Riverbank precinct as South Australia’s up and coming tourist destination, the multi-use hotel is situated amongst the city’s best arts and cultural centres.

Boasting premium design with a “do it all under the one roof” approach to guest experience, the hotel’s presence inserts new life into the Riverbank precinct.

Further highlighting Adelaide’s emerging position as the location for “all things tourism” was the fact this year’s Australasian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE).

The annual event saw about 1200 industry representatives come together to share provocative industry insights in hotel design, construction and future hospitality trends.

With all of this in mind, there really is no reason Adelaide can’t join the ranks of Sydney and Melbourne as a tourism go-to destination.

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