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Activating Heritage Tourism Program

Tourism Industry Council SA, in partnership with the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) is delivering the Activating Heritage Tourism Program to support the activation and enhancement of our state’s heritage tourism offerings.

Heritage is the heart of the visitor experience. It connects travellers and their passions to the people and places they visit, to the South Australian character and way of life. When we share our heritage, tell our stories, and reveal our truths, we say to visitors, ‘This is who we are. This is South Australia.’  

The Activating Heritage Tourism Program will inspire and support operators of heritage tourism places and products to deliver high-quality, contemporary visitor experiences. It consists of two main components: Activating Heritage Tourism webinars & workshops and a grant program.


Heritage tourism is defined as ‘Travelling to experience the places, artifacts and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and can include cultural, historic and natural resources’.

(South Australian Arts and Cultural Tourism Strategy 2025, South Australian Tourism Commission)
Image: Bungaree Station, Clare Valley | Georgie Mikus

Grant program

The Activating Heritage Tourism Small Grants will offer $150,000 in funding to activate and elevate the quality of heritage tourism products in South Australia. Grants of between $5,000 – $15,000 are available for:

  • Heritage sector operators who offer visitor experiences and activities in South Australia; and
  • Tourism operators with South Australian heritage tourism products.

In short:

  • Eligible projects will elevate the quality of heritage tourism products in South Australia by improving the interpretation of heritage (both tangible and intangible) and / or activating elements of Interpretation Plans.
  • Projects must be completed within six (6) months
  • Applicants must demonstrate they will contribute a minimum cash amount of 20% of the grant funding requested
  • Eligible businesses must be registered on the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW)
  • Successful applicants will be encouraged to undertake Quality Tourism Accreditation, with the support of TiCSA, to demonstrate their commitment to strong business practices including business plans, policies and procedures (unless already QTAB Accredited)

For complete details of the grant funding, all eligibility and assessment criteria ensure you read both the Grant Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

When and how can applications be made?

Applications open: Wednesday 13 March 2024, 9:00am ACDT

Applications close: Friday 19 April 2024, strictly 5:00pm ACDT

Applications must be made through TiCSA’s online grant system which can be accessed from this webpage from the date and time that applications open. 

Please make sure you note the closing date & time and allow for any technical issues as late applications will not be accepted. 

    Additional grant program

    Please note that DEW also currently has open the 2024-25 Heritage Conservation Grants Program for owners of State Heritage Places or a place within a State Heritage Area to help rejuvenate the state’s built heritage, ensuring it is protected and preserved for future generations. Applications for this program are open until Wednesday 3 April 2024.

    Please go to the DEW website to learn more about this program

    Support & Guidance

    Heritage Interpretation

    What is heritage interpretation anyway?

    In fact, this seemingly simple question should be your new best friend. Interpretation seeks to uncover why your experience or product matters to you, your organisation and most importantly, why it matters to your visitors. It’s the story of your site, program, or product.

    See the resource below to discover what interpretation truly means and how you can incorporate it in your heritage tourism business.

    Want to learn more about the role of interpretation in delivering great heritage tourism experiences?

    Watch this session with Scott Killeen, Experience Designer with Kelp Creative as he breaks down interpretation and interpretive planning, and provides some great examples from across Australia.

    Activating Heritage Tourism Grant Program: Webinar Replay

    Watch this webinar replay about the newly announced grant program and learn what good Heritage Tourism looks like including the role of Interpretation Plans in designing high quality heritage tourism products.

    Other useful information

    Support and information about the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW):

    State Toursim Strategies including the Tourism Plan 2030, Regional Visitor Strategy and the Arts & Cultural Tourism Strategy 2025: