Adelaide hotels, restaurants and retailers are experiencing an influx of visitors with the second Ashes Test for 2013/14 kicking off today at Adelaide Oval.
The Ashes Test will be the first major event held at Adelaide Oval since work began on the $500 million redevelopment, and will give cricket fans a chance to see how much the stadium has changed ahead of the official opening concert by the Rolling Stones on 22 March 2014.
Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell said the South Australian Government had this year actively promoted the Adelaide Test throughout the UK with the goal of attracting as many visitors as possible to the state.
“We’ve worked with the Barmy Army to send an e-newsletter to their 30,000 members, offering a range of special discounts both in Adelaide and surrounding regions, to ensure they make the most of their trip to South Australia,” Mr Bignell said.
“From April to August 2013, the State Government ran a cooperative campaign with UK travel agent Freedom Australia, which resulted in 247 tickets and 864 room nights sold.”
Other activities have included a Tourism Australia promotion in The Times, a VIP famil with Emirates, and cooperative activities with trade partner Gullivers Sports.
Barmy Army trumpeter Billy Cooper was also recruited to spruik South Australia as a tourism destination by wearing an outfit featuring the state brand during the final three Ashes test matches in England earlier in the year.
Billy the Trumpet, as he is affectionately known to England’s legion of cricket fans, is regularly featured on TV coverage of the cricket that is watched by millions of cricket fans around the world.
Mr Bignell said a number of other events and activities have also been organised in Adelaide to leverage the impact of the Ashes Test.
“We’ll host the TODAY show for an outside broadcast on the Riverbank between 6am and 9am this morning, which will also include a performance from X Factor winner Reece Mastin.
“We’re encouraging locals to come down for the broadcast, and cross the new Torrens Bridge for the first time.
“A free breakfast and goody bag will be available for the first 1000 people who present a special coupon available in The Advertiser on Wednesday and Thursday.”
On Tuesday night, the State Government hosted about 60 UK media at a “Taste of Australia” event at the Adelaide Convention Centre, held in conjunction with Tourism Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board.
A special ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour of the newly redeveloped Adelaide Oval was also held for 20 members of the Barmy Army to mark their 20th birthday. It was in Adelaide during the 1994/5 Ashes tour that Australian media first coined the phrase ‘the Barmy Army’.