Image credit: Homage to the Castlemaine Woollen Mill workers – Libre Hem, 2017. Credit: Denise Button, The Mill Castlemaine.
Watch the Domestic Arts Tourism: Connecting the Country webinar.
A recording of this webinar is now ready to view.
The relationship between art and travel is long-standing, deep and complex. We travel to see art, and even when art isn’t our primary destination, we naturally gravitate to the art of a place in order to understand the meaning of that place.
Domestic tourism provides an opportunity for Australians to immerse themselves in exceptional cultural experiences, and many Australians are travelling to experience the arts: at concerts, in galleries, on stages, or through more niche opportunities across the country.
Arts experiences have a growing role as a driver for tourism in Australia and are increasingly part of visitors’ itineraries. This report presents trends and insights on how Australians connect with the arts as they travel around the country, whether on short daytrips or longer overnight stays. It helps build the picture of Australians’ willingness to travel for the arts, of the value of the arts in helping us understand the place we are in, and the great capacity of the arts to support local economies and build stronger regional communities.
From large scale festivals and events, to visits to artist workshops and studios, the arts draw domestic tourists to both metropolitan and regional locations, providing opportunities to share local creativity and culture with visitors.
There is a willingness to travel to destinations beyond capital cities to seek new and authentic experiences, including growing engagement with First Nations arts and craft – diverse expressions of the world’s oldest continuing living culture.
Australians are connected through these experiences by building our community wellbeing, cultural identity and social cohesion, while supporting local and regional economies.
As a priority under our five-year strategy Creativity Connects Us, the Australia Council is committed to enabling more opportunities for Australians to be captivated by arts experiences in everyday life. We want inspiring arts experiences to be welcoming and easily accessible, and reflective of our unique culture that is simultaneously ancient and contemporary.
This report is a companion piece to our previous research publication International Arts Tourism: Connecting cultures. Together these reports highlight the value of arts and culture to Australia’s tourism strategies and the importance of a vibrant, creative landscape for tourism, the broader visitor economy and society as a whole. They also equip artists and arts organisations with valuable intelligence about the behaviours and interests of tourists in Australia and strengthen the evidence base for Australian arts and creativity.
Elevating the value and broader relevance of arts and creativity in Australian public life and policy making is critical to a creatively connected nation where creative enterprise is entrenched across society, industry and government as the fuel that ignites our social, cultural and economic success.
Dr Wendy Were, Executive Director Strategic Development and Advocacy.