The concept of art tourism sounds new but it is definitely as old as tourism itself because for centuries many societies had already given much appreciation for the arts and culture. Art tourism covers a big segment of the industry because around the globe people travel in order to visit, explore and engage in activities related to art festivals, concerts, wine and cuisine events and to explore famous museums.
The first argument presents art tourism as a partnership between culture and the tourism industry by creatively increasing what is unique about a community. The heritage, artistic and cultural life of an area can attract tourists and create better quality of life for those who live there. For example The Americans for the Arts Monographs mentioned “In 1992 the Arts Council of New Orleans and the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation began an initiative to build a partnership between these two industries”. This statement presents that it is important to understand the crucial role that the arts play in the beautification and attractiveness of a destination. Another example states “ The Minister of Tourism Malaysia, announced the 1st. Malaysia Contemporary Art Tourist 2010 aims at targeting more high-yield tourists.” (Tourism Malaysia Media Release 2010). As declared in this media release, tourism leaders and governments need to work in collaboration in order to develop and deliver imaginative experiences and driven authentic products to increase new visitors.
The second argument is that arts and culture are a potent force in the life of towns and cities making them more attractive which increases the chances for more visitors. As declared in the An Art & Cultural Tourism Strategy for Western Australia (2008), “The western Australian Government recognizes the dynamic interaction between the arts and the tourism market and has made a coordinated approach to marketing Western Australian arts and culture a priority”. As proclaimed in this tourism strategy, culture and the arts are a key element in the positive development of a tourist destination. A city or town with diverse cultural options and attractions like museums, restaurants, art galleries, operas, theaters, and symphonies are attractive not only to their residents, but for visitors because tourists can discover more and have memorable experiences.
The third argument presents that art tourism is more expensive than other types of tourism which creates differences between people. No doubt that the nature of art tourism and the art industry is more reachable for the art connoisseurs and enthusiasts. Because of this valid argumentation it is essential for governments and tourism organizations to develop strategies for culture and the arts to be available to all demographics. For instance more governments and tourism leaders are gearing modernization and service improvements towards the promotion of their native arts to gain a holistic edge in the travel industry.
To conclude it is crucial to recognize the important role that arts play in the positive and healthy tourism development of any society. Governments need strategies for partnership between arts, tourism and economic development because it is key to foster a strong tourism destination. In my opinion, as I have travel to new places to explore museums, the union of arts and tourism celebrates human authenticity, and increases opportunities for self improvement and creates more genuine experiences.
Art and Cultural Tourism, Government of Western Australia, 2010. http://www.tourism.wa.gov.au/Policies_Plans_Strategies/Niche_Tourism_Sectors/Pages/Arts_Cultural_Tourism.aspx
Arts Professionals, Friends like this, Issue 227 | 11 Oct 2010. www.artsprofessional.co.uk
Skylight Publishing, The art Tourism 2010. http://www.skylightpublishing.com/giclee-printing-service/the-art-tourism.html
Americans for the Arts Monographs. Cultural Tourism, Bridging America through Partnership in Arts, Tourism and Economic Development. (1997). www.artsusa.org
Tourism Western Australian, Arts and Cultural Tourism, (2008). http://www.tourism.wa.gov.au/Policies_Plans_Strategies/Niche_Tourism_Sectors/Pages/Arts_Cultural_Tourism.aspx
Tourism Malaysia, The 1st. Malaysia Art Tourism Festival, (2010). http://www.tourism.gov.my/corporate/mediacentre.asp?page=news_desk&subpage=archive&news_id=445