Arts and creativity can revitalise regional tourism and support local economies

Homage to the Castlemaine Woollen Mill workers – Libre Hem, 2017 - photo by Denise Button, The Mill CastlemaineNew research released by the Australia Council for the Arts shows arts experiences are a key driver for tourism, particularly to regional Australia.

Domestic Arts Tourism: Connecting the Country draws on Tourism Research Australia data and additional resources to provide insights into the behaviour of people travelling within Australia. Arts tourists are high value tourists: they travel further, stay longer and spend more than domestic tourists overall.

“This research reveals Australians’ willingness to travel for the arts and how arts and creativity are significant tourism drivers,” said the Australia Council’s Executive Director of Strategic Development and Advocacy, Dr Wendy Were.

“With so many of our regional communities devastated during the recent bushfires, it provides insights into the vital role that arts and culture can play in rebuilding and recovery through supporting local economies and strengthening regional communities,” she said.

Together with the Australia Council’s previous report International Arts Tourism: Connecting cultures the latest research highlights the significance of arts and creativity for Australia’s tourism strategies and broader economy. Key insights include:

• Domestic travellers to destinations in regional Australia are most likely to engage with the arts during their trips.

• In 2018, the average length of stay for an arts overnight trip was five nights compared to the average of three and a half nights spent away from home on any overnight trip.

• The average amount spent on an overnight arts trip was $1,068, nearly $400 more than the overall average overnight spend of $685.

• Capital cities are key tourism regions for performing arts – predominantly Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

• Regional destinations including Capital Country (NSW), Southern Queensland Country (QLD), Bendigo Loddon (VIC) and Australia’s South West (WA) are among the top arts tourism destinations.

• First Nations arts tourism is on the rise, reflecting Australians’ strong and growing interest in engaging with First Nations arts and culture.

For more information, visit: www.australiacouncil.gov.au for details.

Image: Homage to the Castlemaine Woollen Mill workers – Libre Hem, 2017 – photo by Denise Button, The Mill Castlemaine

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