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Economic Impact of Arts and Culture in Victoria

Arts and culture are big business for Victoria

The Victorian arts and culture sector generates widespread economic benefits as well as other benefits, such as contributing to liveability, providing access to cultural experiences, and promoting innovation and creativity.

To measure these benefits, Arts Victoria commissioned consultants, KPMG, to undertake a broad review of the economic contribution of the arts and cultural industries in Victoria, and the impact of Government investment.

The report, which is based on the latest ABS Census data, takes a comprehensive definition of arts and culture. It encompasses the work of individual Victorian artists and organisations across all artforms, museums, libraries and heritage centres; environmental cultural resources such as parks, gardens and zoos; the publishing and design sectors; film and television production, broadcasting; and community arts and cultural development.

The report estimates that, in 2010-11, the Victorian arts and culture sector:

  • added direct value to the economy of $6.1 billion; and
  • employed the equivalent of 68,000 full time workers.

Rigorous economic modelling was applied to identify linkages of the arts and cultural sector with the broader economy, and to calculate indirect impacts and flow-on effects.

As a result of these links, in 2010-11 the total contribution of the arts and culture sector was:

  • $11.4 billion of annual Victorian GSP and
  • 110,000 Victorian full time equivalent jobs.

Victorian cultural facilities and activities are an important drawcard for international and interstate visitors.  Close to 400,000 domestic and international cultural tourists (defined as those who attend three or more cultural attractions during their visit) visited Victoria in 2011.

Cultural tourists’ expenditure represents a significant input into the state economy.  As well as spending directly on cultural activities, these tourists purchase other local goods and services, such as meals, accommodation, gifts and transport.  In 2011 this expenditure was estimated to be almost $695 million.

Victoria’s cultural sector accounted for 3.1 per cent of the State’s employment, while its economic value was comparable to other industry sectors such as mining, electricity, and food and accommodation.

The report also found that the arts are part of a growing sector of the Victorian economy with employment growth averaging 4.4 per cent per year and economic value increasing by 3.3 per cent per year over a ten-year period.

Impact of Government Investment

The Victorian Government provides significant support for arts and cultural facilities and services.  It is estimated that in 2010-11 Victorian Government funding of $580 million stimulated around $340 million contribution to the Gross State Product and an additional 3,500 full-time equivalent jobs - representing a greater return on investment than other areas of Government.