Cairns Indigenous Art Fair research showcases event value and economic impact

A-Performer-at-the-2022-CIAF-Closing-Ceremony-photo-by-Blueclick-PhotographyCairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) 2022 has received top marks in the latest research report by one of Australia’s leading business consultancies showing a significant financial boost to Cairns’ economy exceeding $7.5million while promoting the city’s sense pride and appeal.

Specialising in performance measurement in the sport and entertainment industry, research consultancy, IER has identified CIAF is unique for delivering not one but a range of benefits to Cairns and the community.

According to the report, commissioned by Tourism & Events Queensland, CIAF generated direct and incremental expenditure of $7,551,986 attributable to the Cairns economy and $4,454,724 to Queensland’s economy.

Added to this high to very high ratings were achieved across all community pride benchmarks including a strong endorsement of 92 per cent out of 100 per cent for adding appeal to the Cairns region.

IER partner Glenn Hardy said the results show CIAF is an event in a class of its own, proving its ability to influence a range of positive outcomes benefitting the community from fiscal to social.

“Many events perform to fulfil either one objective or another. CIAF is an event as such whose strength can be measured in both direct economic and social benefits which is particularly meaningful in a hyper-local sense,” said Mr Hardy.

CIAF General Manager Darrell Harris said results are evidence of the organisation’s success in returning to a physical event after two COVID years in which the event platform transitioned online.

“I believe that CIAF’s resilience during two years of lockdowns and determination to maintain a presence through online programming was instrumental in a successful return in 2022 that also introduced a new event hub at Cairns Convention Centre,” he said.

“It is so pleasing to see CIAF rate high to very high on all indicators of the IER report with community pride, appeal, and willingness to recommend CIAF to others ranking most highly.”

I wish to congratulate our team, our artists and creative stakeholders, our sponsors, our community, and the generosity of everyone who travelled to Cairns for CIAF on this remarkable achievement,” said Mr Harris.

2022, CIAF’s 13th year, saw record-breaking attendance figures with 60,000 attendees purchasing over $1M in artworks from the Art Fair and Art Market.

CIAF will return in 2023 from 13 – 16 July, with the Opening Night Party to be held on Thursday 13 July at the Cairns Convention Centre. The theme for next year’s Art Fair is: Weaving our Future: Claiming our Sovereignty. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: A Performer at the 2022 CIAF Closing Ceremony – photo by Blueclick Photography

Key Findings of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair IER 2022 Report:
• CIAF generated direct and incremental expenditure of $7,551,986 attributable to the Cairns economy and $4,454,724 attributable to the Queensland economy.
• CIAF was responsible for generating 36,651 visitor nights in Cairns. Most of these nights were generated by interstate visitors (18,866).
• In total, $6,087,366 was spent by overnight visitors who stayed more than 40 km from their normal place of residence. Most of this spending was undertaken by interstate visitors ($3,262,858).
• When assessing ‘community pride’, CIAF rates high to very high on all indicators. The highest level of agreement was recorded or the statements – Local residents should feel proud of CIAF, CIAF adds to the appeal of the Cairns region, and I would recommend CIAF to others.