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International art exhibition generates millions for Brisbane tourism

18 July 2019


A major international art exhibition held over five months at Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) pumped $35 million into the economy and generated 1.5 million visitor nights for Queensland, new data has revealed.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT) was a ground-breaking exhibition.

“The data we’ve seen today is proof that our strategy to use great major events to grow our tourism industry is working,” she said.

“We invest in major events that deliver a great return for our economy and support local jobs. Of the 1.5 million visitor nights recorded this year, 43 per cent were booked outside of Brisbane. 

“The widespread recognition of APT as a world-class arts event has proven a big attraction for Brisbane. This year’s event generated $35 million for Queensland – that’s 60 per cent growth on the last event.

“This is great for tourism businesses and accommodation providers across the state and proves the strong economic benefits from events like this flow on to operators in regional Queensland.”

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said that Queensland’s reputation in the contemporary visual arts world has skyrocketed since APT’s first exhibition 25 years ago and is now the world’s only exhibition series to focus on the contemporary art of Asia, Australia and the Pacific.

“These exhibitions are held every three years and present a wonderful opportunity for visual artists from across Australia and the Asia Pacific to collaborate and share works that are a powerful expression of their cultures and experiences,” Ms Enoch said.

“APT has also been instrumental for QAGOMA in building strong relationships throughout the region and developing an unrivalled collection of contemporary art from Australia and the Asia Pacific.
“Each exhibition connects with interstate and international audiences and bolster Queensland as a must-see cultural destination.”

Minister Jones said events like APT9 were key to boosting the economy, supporting local tourism operators and promoting Brisbane’s tourism assets.

“Over the last five years we’ve more than doubled the value of Queensland’s major events calendar, this year tipped to generate $800 million for our state,” she said.

“Tourism is a vital industry for the wider Brisbane region, worth $7.8 billion to the local economy and supporting around 60,300 jobs.

“We’ll continue to invest in events like this to attract more visitors to Queensland and support local tourism jobs.”
APT9 featured a thought-provoking cinema program, academic symposium, creative hands-on experiences for children, tours and other special events.

QAGOMA director Chris Saines said APT had reshaped Queensland’s identity as a leading cultural tourism destination by drawing a vast number of visitors from interstate and overseas. 

“The outstanding attendance of almost 720,000 visits to the 9th instalment of QAGOMA’s flagship exhibition, APT, is a result that exemplifies the Gallery’s commitment to strengthening its connection with our region and expanding the international reputation of QAGOMA on the global contemporary art map,” Mr Saines said.