Arts and creativity can revitalise regional tourism and support local economies

    17 February 2020

    New research released today 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. 


    • 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.

    Media contact: 

    Brianna Roberts

    Media Manager, Australia Council for the Arts

    Phone: (02) 9215 9030 

    Mobile: 0498 123 541 


    Related content

    Read the Domestic Arts Tourism: Connecting the country research paper.

    International arts tourists are more likely to visit regional Australia than International Tourists overall: 

    Touring to regional Australia not only allows arts and artists to reach new audiences but supports the development of the local arts economy and increases opportunities for cultural tourism. 
    Read more 

    First Nations Arts Engage International Tourists

    First Nations arts engage international tourists, especially those who travel outside capital cities. Australia’s unique position as home to the world’s oldest living culture is part of what makes Australia such a special place to visit.

    Read more 

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