Editorial: Cultural Tourism in focus

Filed : Advocacy, CULTURAL TOURISM .

Going into the 2020-2023 plan Cultural Tourism is one of our key strategic focus areas at Arts OutWest. Here’s what’s happening.

Our hero image this month: Marjory Jackson Mural by Gerard Brown (Le Grizz) off Main Street, Lithgow. One of the many art installations enlivening Lithgow laneways as part of a project coordinated by Lithgow Tidy Towns. Arts OutWest are currently cataloging and photographing every single piece of public art in the NSW Central West – there’s 300 items on our list so far – for a new online, responsive cultural trails and maps project (see Tracey’s letter below).
Photo: Carolyn Hide, Cazeil Creative/ Arts OutWest media associate.

What is ‘arts tourism’ and what is ‘cultural tourism’?
‘Arts tourists’ are day or over night trippers (or longer), domestic or international, who attend or engage in any kind of ‘arts’ whilst travelling away from home. From performances to galleries, festivals to first national cultural displays. This includes people who travel within, say, the Central West.
‘Cultural tourism’ also includes museums and heritage, which is very much a part of our remit too so we tend to talk in terms of Cultural Tourism.

What are we developing for our region?
One of our big projects this year is an online, responsive set of regional cultural maps and trails: public art, heritage, handmade, galleries and Aboriginal culture. They’ll be a promotional brochure (in collaboration with the Central NSW Joint Organisation of councils). There’s upwards of 480 places on the list so far – including more than 300 works of public art that have never been thoroughly mapped on a region-wide scale before. We’re also in conversation with people about how events or other campaigns can leverage off all this. Watch this space.

How else are we supporting arts and cultural tourism?

  • Our regular, regional, promotion of local events: nearly 2000 events promoted annually online, on social media and radio spots
  • With National Parks we co-manage a dediacted Aboriginal art galleery – the Kew-Y-Ahn Aboriginal Gallery in Hartley – which shows and sells work from artists in our region. The Gallery visitor numbers have been increasing each quarter.
  • Being a partner in local projects (such as the fantastic Cowra Voices app) or supporting projects in the region with advice, letters of support etc
  • Capturing photos of key arts events and activities in the region through our media associates program
  • Participating in the Central NSW Joint Organisation tourism meetings (who we’re collaborating with on our Cultural Trails project)
  • Our own events that bring people together across the region. Eg: We’ve begun planning for the 2020 Central West Choral Festival.

– Tracey Callinan, executive director Arts OutWest

Here are more current resources in the arts/ cultural tourism mindset:

Domestic arts tourism 

Report: The Australia Council for the Arts’ latest research report, “Domestic Arts Tourism: Connecting the country”  finds that arts tourists are high value tourists – especially in the regions. Read more

Central West visitor stats

Destination NSW dataFestivals, events, sport helping boost visitor numbers. Domestic overnight visitors to the Central West up by 4.5% in the past year to 2.9 million people. Read more.

$1 Million flagship event fund

NSW Regional Event Fund: Special focus this year for regional communities affected by bushfires and drought. Up to $20K for event marketing of flagship events. Up to $10K Micro Event Fund for community-based events with total operating budgets of $75,000 or less that have the capacity to bring together local communities, attract visitation and stimulate local economies.
Applications close Wednesday 25 March 2020.
Flagship event fact sheet
Micro event fund fact sheet
All the funding details here
See the full media release from Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism

Image: Marjory Jackson Mural by Gerard Brown (Le Grizz) off Main Street, Lithgow. One of the many art installations enlivening Lithgow laneways as part of a project coordinated by Lithgow Tidy Towns. Arts OutWest are currently cataloging and photographing every single piece of public art in the NSW Central West – there’s 300 items on our list so far – for a new online, responsive cultural trails and maps project. 
Photo: Carolyn Hide, Cazeil Creative/ Arts OutWest media associate

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