Making a splash

FRINGE WORLD will make a splash when it returns to Fremantle on a cruise ship next year.

The festival will stow away on the 55,451 tonne Vasco da Gama on February 1 when it homeports in Fremantle for the first time.

It’s part of English company Cruise and Maritime Voyage’s expansion into the local cruising market.

Fringe director Amber Hasler said the Fringe on the Water event would be a unique opportunity to stay overnight in Fremantle aboard the ship.

“Fringe performances take place in some of the most spectacular and unusual spaces all over Perth and this world-first Fringe World show on a cruise ship will be an incredible addition to the 2020 festival program,” Ms Hasler said.

• Fringe performers Coco Poppin, Sassie Cassie and Emily Star at Freo port (above) and the Vasco da Gama (below).

Tourism WA

The Fremantle Fringe show will be promoted nationally by CMV Australia, in part through a marketing partnership with Tourism WA.

Tourism minister Paul Papalia said the event would help drive visitor growth to Western Australia, with recent figures showing the state’s tourism has turned around a horror run.

Tourism WA figures show that in the year to March, more than 4.7 million extra visitors had a holiday in WA compared to the year before. It was mostly driven by interstate visitors and locals having a quick dash down south, with international numbers dropping slightly.

Locally the news was a bit more mixed, with the City of Fremantle reporting a slight collapse in visitor numbers in May.

The year had been shaping up to be the best since 2015, and in April visitor numbers matched a five-year peak as the city launched its This is Fremantle destination marketing campaign, but a month later they’d slumped to the equal-worst for the same period.

by STEVE GRANT

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