How we can grow the Arts and Cultural Tourism sector in South Australia?

Arts and Cultural Tourism is a key element of the appeal of South Australia, along with Nature & Wildlife and Food & Wine. 

We would like to hear your thoughts about the opportunities to grow this important sector.

Read the South Australian Visitor Economy Sector Plan 2030, in particular the 6 strategic priorities established and have your say by commenting below.

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20 May 2021

Art experiences in remote areas can be irresistible to the discerning traveller as a way of extending tourism beyond the city. In a place like Kangaroo Island, our excellent visual artists are our best-kept secret – and that can also be said for many other pockets of rural and remote South Australia. Many visitors to KI would not know that we have one of the highest quality visual arts communities in regional SA. Because the island is vast and the population is small and spread, the art experience can easily be missed. Our proposed Art Museum of Kangaroo Island would be a marketing focus for the arts of KI and focal point to spread the message and direct people to community galleries and retail galleries, as well as other arts experiences. A way of promoting the art of KI as yet another reason to visit the island.

There is no other facility in remote or regional SA that would offer what the Art Museum of KI could offer or facilitate as a tourist experience. For Kangaroo Island specifically, the community and economy are compromised by the lack of arts and culture facilities, for example:

• Visitation that could be classed as specifically arts or cultural tourism, and architectural tourism.
• Island to Inland exhibition – the work of 10 KI artists launched at the Flinders University Museum of Art in 2017 and travelled to 14 regional SA galleries over 2 years. It could not be shown on KI because no venue could accommodate it.
• Also the subsequent Island to Outback exhibition (all island artists) in 2020 had no showing on KI.
• The Kangaroo Island Easter Art Exhibition, the premier visual art event on KI, is held in the Dudley District Hall at Penneshaw which has no facilities for an exhibition or delivery to an exhibition. Everything (e.g. hanging panels and systems, lighting) has to be brought in (by volunteers) to accommodate the exhibition and is not climate controlled.
• Kangaroo Island’s participation in SALA is limited by the lack of venues and has only once been a major event on Kangaroo Island, even though it has a thriving arts population. Usually it is only individual artists or community groups that put in the volunteer effort to participate, or there is no SALA participation at all.
• School students and community artists have limited access to the art of the wider world because travel to the mainland is an expensive exercise. The lack of facilities means KI cannot host touring exhibitions or even the art of Kangaroo Island that is held in, for example, the Art Gallery of South Australia or the State Library of SA.
• Facilities for self-generated workshops, or community workshops for visiting artists or artists-in-residence, are makeshift. There is no easily accessible, permanent and fit-for-purpose studio space for workshops or visiting artists.
• There is no central, well-promoted gallery that ensures visitors to KI know that arts practice is strong and of high quality. For example, it would be common for visitors to have no inkling that there were community galleries and commercial galleries on the island if they did not actively seek them out.
• The island has few attractions/activities for when the weather is poor (pretty much all of winter)
• There is little community use of the preferred site of AMKI (not yet secured), which is a spectacular vantage point and land designated for scenic purposes (Crown land under the care and control of KI Council).
• There are few few facilities or places for tourists, or locals, to gather or hang out after a hard day’s touring to the major attractions.

We sincerely hope that the strategy makes the case arts and cultural tourism beyond Adelaide. South Australia’s remote and regional areas have a wealth of experiences set in landscapes that only add to their mystique and appeal. We need to make sure they have the facilities to make to most of their offerings.

Barrie Harrop

13 May 2021

One of the greatest natural phenomenon on earth, the annual gathering of the giant cuttlefish off the Upper Spencer Gulf coastline in South Australia near Whyalla; for some mysterious reasons, the giant cuttlefish gather in the same place over the last 10,000 years or so.

The phenomenon even stunning Sir David Attenborough , its known place on earth for this annual massive gathering of giant cuttlefish.

With previously 11m Australians who went Overseas each year and will not be going anywhere overseas in the foreseeable future on the past scale, Australians discover their own country.

In Australia, over 1.9m Australians scuba or snorkelling each year, a whole new Tourism experience.