13 May 2024

Tasting Australia delights its largest audience ever

All 12 of South Australia’s tourism regions welcomed an influx of foodies and festivalgoers thanks to this year’s Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel.

More than 150 events delivered a deliciously diverse program of eating and drinking experiences, helping drive visitation and expenditure across South Australia.

With over 260 local businesses supported, the 2024 festival showcased some of the best of the state’s produce, people, and places to visitors from all over.

The new Tasting Australia by Train sold-out event from Melbourne to Adelaide was among highlights from the past 10 days, as well as the Tasting Australia Airlines journeys to the Eyre Peninsula and Limestone Coast – which this year brought interstate visitors directly into regional South Australia.

An all-time high 77,000 attendees flocked to Town Square in Adelaide’s Victoria Square/Tartanyangga over the 10-day festival – up on last year’s record of 68,000 visitors.

Town Square featured four new Dining Galleries, 15 South Australian food vendors, and four bars showcasing some of the state’s best wine, beer, spirits, and non-alcoholic options. Sold out events included the new Town Square Canteen showcasing regional eateries from across the state, as well as many masterclasses, tasting tables, and dining degustation events.

Among the nation’s longest-running eating and drinking festivals, Tasting Australia adds to the world-renowned calendar of events in the state. Events still to come this month include the Clare Valley SCA Gourmet Week, an historic CommBank Matildas match at Adelaide Oval, and the FLAME Festival in Copper Coast amongst others.

Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said this is an outstanding result for an event that has been evolving since it began in 1997.
"The real credit goes to all the hard-working vendors and businesses that worked tirelessly for months to bring to the forefront the best SA has to offer," Minister Bettison said. 

"The success of this festival also highlights the strength of audience appetite for authentic eating and drinking experiences in South Australia and drives year-round demand for all our state offers. 
"South Australia’s blockbuster events calendar continues to set the bar, helping both strengthen our reputation as a must-see destination and make an important contribution to our state’s visitor economy." 

Tasting Australia Festival Director, Karena Armstrong said the attendance milestone was exciting for everyone involved.

"Tasting Australia celebrates this moment in our nation’s food culture – one shaped by chefs, producers and beverage stars from near and far," Ms Armstrong said. 

"Together with the team I’m so proud of the uniquely South Australian stories we continue to tell."

RAA Travel and Distribution General Manager, Gina Norman said Tasting Australia keeps getting bigger and better. 
"This year’s record attendance is a testament to the talented team that pull the festival together, and also South Australia’s world class food, wine and beverages that were on offer," Ms Norman said. 
"Tens of thousands of people poured through the gates at the Town Square, and it was great to welcome a lot of them at the RAA Travel Lounge."