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Arts and tourism promote engagement with countries across Asia 

November 18, 2018

Fuju light installation Vivid Sydney 2018. Credit: Destination NSW

Arts and tourism promote engagement with countries across Asia. Asian markets have been identified as a tourism focus by both arts organisations and tourism bodies in Australia.

International arts tourists by country

  • Almost 620,000 arts tourists came to Australia from China in 2017 – as a country it’s our biggest market. 
  • The five countries making up the largest numbers of international arts tourists in 2017 were China, the UK, the USA, New Zealand and Japan.

Arts tourists from Asia

  • In 2010, visitors from Asia replaced those from Europe as the largest proportion of international arts tourists.
  • By 2017, almost half (48%) of international arts tourists were visitors from Asia, up from 32% in 2008.
  • Given the high volume of tourists from this region, arts tourists from Asia were the largest group engaging across the majority of arts activities.

High growth in the number of opera tickets sold to Chinese tourists when visiting Australia has seen Opera Australia include surtitles in simplified Chinese, coinciding with the company’s first tour to China in 2018.


To find out more about International Arts Tourism: Connecting cultures

Proportion of international arts tourist by region, 2008-2017

Source: Tourism Research Australia (TRA)’s International Visitor Survey (IVS)

Discover more stories about international arts tourism

Image of the Opera House at Vivid

Badu Gili, Sydney Opera House. Artist Alick Tipoti. Credit Daniel Boud

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Anne Dixon painting, Ikuntji Artists, Credit: Christian Koch

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Silo art

Phlegm & Hense for PUBLIC Silo Trail. Northam, 2015. Photograph by Bewley Shaylor, courtesy of FORM. 

International arts tourists are drawn to regional Australia