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First Nations arts engage international tourists

Nov 18, 2018

Anne Dixon painting, Ikuntji Artists. Credit: Christian Koch

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.

  • Over 820,000 international tourists engaged with First Nations arts while in Australia in 2017, an increase of 41% since 2013. This incorporates increased attendance at First Nations performances as well as attendance at art, craft or cultural displays.
  • Engagement with First Nations arts was higher for international arts tourists who travelled outside capital cities. More than a third of these travellers attended a First Nations arts activity in 2017 (36%), compared to 24% of international arts tourists overall. 
  • Arts tourists who visited regional areas of the NT had particularly high levels of engagement – eight in ten attended a First Nations arts activity while visiting Australia in 2017 (79%), more than triple the numbers of international arts tourists overall (24%). Of arts tourists who visited Darwin, 63% attended a First Nations arts activity in Australia.

First Nations arts are expressions of the oldest continuous living culture in the world, and storytelling stretching back for millennia. Regional and remote Australia is home to around 90 remote art centres and the heart of Australia’s world famous visual art movement.

To find out more about International Arts Tourism: Connecting cultures


Growth trends in international tourist numbers for First Nations arts activities 2008-2017

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