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Arts and tourism promote engagement with countries across Asia 

Nov 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.

Proportion of international arts tourist by region, 2008-2017

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