Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Whether it’s Le Louvre in Paris, the State Hermitage in St Petersburg, the British Museum in London or a quirky local museum in the Aussie outback, visiting art galleries and/or museums is a popular holiday pursuit: 18% of all Australian holiday-goers (some 2,309,000 people) visited at least one gallery or museum on their last trip.

Of Australians 14+ who went overseas for their last trip, 36% visited at least one gallery/museum during their holiday. This figure skyrockets to 75% of holiday-goers (and higher) who travelled to European destinations such as France, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain/Portugal and Greece on their last trip.

Meanwhile, 14% of Australians whose last holiday was domestic visited at least one museum or gallery while they were away. When we look at specific destinations, however, a different pattern emerges.

Popular domestic holiday destinations for visiting an art gallery/museum


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), November 2012 – October 2014 (n=18,068).

Darwin, Hobart and Canberra are the capital cities with the highest proportion of museum/gallery-going visitors. Forty-six percent of Aussies who went to Darwin on their last holiday visited at least one museum or art gallery — the same proportion as travellers to Hobart, and higher than people whose last trip took in Canberra (38%).

Similar proportions of travellers who holidayed in Sydney (21%), Melbourne (23%), Adelaide (22%) and Perth (23%) on their last trip visited at least one museum/art gallery, in contrast to 15% of people who travelled to Brisbane.

Country culture

But the most interesting findings involve regional holiday destinations. For example, 40% of people who went to Outback Queensland (Charleville, Longreach, Mt Isa) on their last holiday visited an art gallery or museum – a statistic that may seem surprising at first, until we remember that the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre is located in Longreach.

People who went to Alice Springs (40%) and Katherine (45%) were also far more likely than the average domestic traveller to have visited a museum or gallery on their last holiday. Both of these towns have popular Aboriginal art galleries, while Alice Springs is also home to the Museum of Central Australia and an RSL Military Museum.

Visitors to Kalgoorlie (30%), Broome (31%) and Far West NSW (Cobar, Broken Hill, Bourke, Wentworth, Lightning Ridge etc.) (32%) were also more likely than the average domestic traveller to have gone to a museum or gallery.

Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Although not as popular a holiday activity as visiting friends or family, shopping, or eating out, many Australians visit museums and/or art galleries while on holiday – particularly when overseas, but also when they visit certain domestic destinations.


“While rural Australia may not be famous for its artistic and heritage hotspots, our data reveals that a surprisingly high proportion of holiday-makers visiting these sometimes very far-flung destinations stop by the local museums and galleries.


“Not only can this be a great way to learn more about the region, but it’s an opportunity to see museums/galleries unlike those you’d encounter in a capital city: in the Outback Queensland town of Winton, for example, you can visit the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum, the Heritage Truck and Machinery Museum, and the Waltzing Matilda Centre!


“Of course, many people visit more than one destination during a domestic holiday, so it’s worth noting that just because someone who went to Cradle Mountain on their last trip reported going to a museum or gallery on that trip, it doesn’t necessarily mean the museum/gallery was in Cradle Mountain. They may have also visited Hobart on the same holiday, and visited MONA while they were there…”


* Outback Queensland: Charleville, Longreach, Mt Isa etc; Far West NSW: Cobar, Broken Hill, Bourke, Wentworth, Lightning Ridge; Murraylands (SA): also inc. Murray Bridge and Tailem Bend

Contact Profile

Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Samantha Wilson
P: (03) 9224 5268


tourism, travel, museums, art galleries, cultural travel, longreach, darwin, louvre, hermitage




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