An extra $7 million to support regional arts and entertainment

More than $7 million will flow to regional arts and entertainment organisations to attract additional tourists to Australian regions and to speed economic recovery in communities hit hard by COVID-19, as part of the Morrison Government’s Regional Arts Tourism package.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the $7.4 million will build on support for the regions in the Creative Economy COVID Support Package, which now stands at more than $440 million.

“Arts and cultural events, festivals, museums and galleries all play a significant role in attracting people to our regions, which is exactly what Australian communities need as they begin to rebuild from the devastating impacts of the pandemic,” Minister Fletcher said.

“As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout progresses, this package will enable regional artists and sector organisations to develop new showcases and performance opportunities, which will attract audiences to unmissable local and interstate experiences.”

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, said marketing arts and entertainment events in the regions would support jobs and businesses in tourism, hospitality, accommodation, and retail.

“The best thing we can do for regional tourism is to get Australians back taking holidays and spending in regional communities,” Minister Tehan said.

“Attending a festival or cultural event is the main reason for visiting a regional area for 57 per cent of first-time visitors, and arts tourists travel further, stay longer and spend more money than the average domestic tourist.

“Our Government’s investment is supporting tourism, regional communities and the arts.”

The Regional Arts Tourism package includes:

  • Regional arts activities for tourists an additional $5 million in competitive grant funding through the Regional Arts Fund for artists, arts workers and arts organisations to develop and promote cultural events for tourists across regional Australia.
  • Festivals – an additional $2.4 million through the Festivals Australia program to grow audiences at festivals across regional Australia.
  • Community arts – $3 million for the Culture, Heritage and Arts Regional Tourism program, supporting community arts and cultural organisations to rebuild after the pandemic.
  • Tourism Australia will support the Regional Arts Tourism package, promoting creative and cultural experiences in regions that have been hard-hit by the pandemic, with a focus on attracting interstate audiences.

Deputy Chair of the Creative Economy Taskforce, Mr John Barrington AM, noted that arts experiences have a strong and important role as a driver for tourism in Australia.

"Domestic arts tourists are high value tourists. In 2018, the average overnight stay for an arts tourist was five nights, compared to three nights for an overnight trip for any other reason.  In the same year, the average spend per trip for an arts daytrip was $138, nearly $30 more than a non-arts daytrip,” Mr Barrington said.

The Morrison Government is investing more than $1 billion into the arts and creative sector in 2021-22.

The programs will be implemented in consultation with the tourism sector, with further details to be published on the Office for the Arts website: www.arts.gov.au/covid-19-update

Media contacts:
Fletcher: Christine Byllaardt | 0409 433 357 | Christine.VandenByllaardt@communications.gov.au
Tehan: Byron Vale 02 6277 7420 | minister.tehan-media@dfat.gov.au