The arts are increasingly becoming a drawcard for international visitors to Australia, a new report released by the Australia Council has shown. Last year, nearly half of the eight million visitors to Australia engaged with the arts during their stay (43 percent), which proved more popular than wineries (13 percent), casinos (12 percent) or organised sporting events (six percent). The biggest arts attractions were museums and galleries, which welcomed more than 2.5 million international guests in 2017.

“The arts are a highly influential and powerful tool for building national identity and for sharing Australian culture, stories and perspectives with the world. The research highlights the growing potential for the arts to drive and support tourism activity, and for our artists to increase their engagement with the international tourist market,” said Dr Wendy Were, the Australia Council’s Executive Director of Strategic Development and Advocacy.

The report also shows that arts tourists have grown by 47 percent between 2013 and 2017, a higher growth rate than for international tourist numbers overall (37 percent). What’s more, those who engaged with the arts also tended to stay in Australia longer than international visitors who did not. Those from Asia comprised the largest group of arts...

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