Adelaide Fringe Wins Excellence in Accessible Tourism at the 2023 South Australian Tourism Awards

Mon, Nov 6 2023
Last Friday, Adelaide Fringe was announced as the winner of Excellence in Accessible Tourism category at the 2023 South Australian Tourism Awards. This is the second year in a row Adelaide Fringe has taken home gold in the South Australian Tourism Awards, having been awarded gold in both the Major Festivals and Events categories in 2022.
Man on stage with arms outstretched wearing a gold jacket
Kym's Overall Extravaganza Showcase - Volume 2. Photo: Lucinda Tooze, Adelaide Fringe 2022
Adelaide Fringe is a major contributor to the South Australian tourism economy, with more than 45,000 tourists flocking to Fringe from across Australia and the world in 2023 directly. resulting in 230,920 visitor bed nights. In 2023 Adelaide Fringe was also the first Australian festival ever to sell one million tickets in Australia, signifying a major increase in interest and growth for the event. 

Adelaide Fringe has worked hard to convince visitors to stay longer at Fringe each year, as a result, the spend per tourist has increased more than 500% in the past seven years, from $607 per person in 2017 to $3,420 per person in 2023 signaling that the event has cemented its status as a long-term destination for culture seekers and arts related tourists rather than a quick visit. 

New initiatives in accessibility for Adelaide Fringe in 2023 included:
  • Updated accessibility icons to better communicate venue environments with audiences
  • Creating venue access information videos for major hubs Gluttony and The Garden of Unearthly Delights
  • Providing Human Guide Training, Autism Awareness Training and Deaf Awareness Training to all Fringe volunteers 
  • Introducing the SBS Inclusion program to all full-time, year-round staff

Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Heather Croall said, “To win awards in consecutive years at the South Australian Tourism Awards is so exciting to us at Adelaide Fringe, it means that we’ve remained motivated and championing our festival across Australia and globally, and have kept our eyes on the prize in becoming the world’s most inclusive and accessible festival”.

“It’s a massive undertaking to organise Australia’s biggest arts festival every year, but the team at Fringe are fully dedicated to delivering a world class festival for artists and audiences alike, so winning an award at the South Australian Tourism Awards is a massive testament to this commitment”, said Heather.

The Major Festival and Events category recognises tourism leisure festivals, events and exhibitions that enhance the profile, awareness and appeal of the destination they are held in as well as creating economic impact, increased visitation and community involvement. 

The Excellence in Accessible Tourism category recognises businesses that provide an experience that goes above and beyond to accommodate and cater for people with disability.

The 2024 Adelaide Fringe will see new inclusion initiatives rolled out to make the event even more accessible, these include staff training to recognise hidden disabilities, visual communication boards and hearing loops at box offices, additional venue access videos and social stories for more venues, and sensory support for all Fringe-run events.

The 2024 Adelaide Fringe will run from 16 February to 17 March 2024 with tickets on sale from Friday 1 December 2023.