The tourists are coming!


Destination NSW recently released a whole lot of information on 2012 tourists. They do this on a regular basis and what’s of particular interest is that the data is about NSW cultural and heritage tourists.

Destination NSW defines a cultural and heritage visitor as someone who participates in at least one of the following activities:

  • attend theatre
  • concerts or other performing arts
  • visit museum or art galleries
  • visit art, craft workshops or studios
  • attend festivals, fairs, or cultural events
  • experience Aboriginal art, craft and cultural display
  • visit an Aboriginal site or community
  • visit historical heritage buildings, sites or monuments

The results are in two sections–international visitors and domestic visitors.

The domestic market is divided into overnight visitors and day-trippers and focuses on those who undertook their cultural and heritage activities in NSW.

According to the report there were nearly 3.6 million domestic overnight cultural visitors staying a total of 13.7 million ‘nights’ in 2012. This is an increase on both the number of visitors and the nights stayed on 2011.

What’s great news for our industry is that visiting a museum or art gallery was the most popular activity undertaken by domestic day trippers (35.9%) and the overnight domestic cultural and heritage tourists (39.4%). Food for thought and inspiration to continue!

Each domestic overnight visitor spent approximately $930 on their trip, or $244 per night. Given that almost 40% of them were staying with ‘friends or relatives’ this means that a lot of that money is going to restaurants, cafés, on entertainment and travel.

And here is why there is such a drive to increase visitor ‘nights’–the longer people stay the more money goes into the local economy.

It might come as no surprise that the 55-64 age group and the 65+ were the largest groups making up almost 40% of overnight cultural and heritage visitors to NSW. They were mostly female (57.7%) and traveling in a private or company vehicle (71.2%)

In addition to those who stayed overnight, there were over 4 million domestic daytrip cultural and heritage visitors in NSW. They spent an estimated $585 million, an increase of 32.8% on 2011. The average spend per person per trip was $139.

What’s great news for our industry is that visiting a museum or art gallery was the most popular activity undertaken by domestic day trippers (35.9%) and the overnight domestic cultural and heritage tourists (39.4%). Food for thought and inspiration to continue!

You can read the full report here