Melbourne Tourism School Tour

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In June 2017 the Age newspaper calculated that cultural tourism and creative industries were pumping 23 billion dollars annually into the Victorian economy. The severe impact of the Covid pandemic 2020-21 on visitation both locally and globally was documented in the Victorian parliamentary reportAugust 2021 and numerous recommendations made. Despite these severe challenges, with its internationally-renowned laneways full of street art, one of the globe’s most highly-concentrated music scenes and world-beating arts institutions, many Melburnians still (unbiasedly!) consider their city one of the greatest cultural destinations on earth.

Street art-covered laneways are among Melbourne's most-visited cultural attractions.

The NGV’s 2014 Melbourne Now exhibition was its most popular, bringing more than 750,000 people through its doors.  The National Gallery of Victoria is by far the most-attended public gallery in Australia. It has spent several years fundraising for a new  NGV Contemporary, without attracting government funding. 
Melbourne’s street art was among the biggest drawcards for domestic and international tourists after Melbourne Museum and the NGV. The museum’s 2011 Tutankhamun exhibition was a ecord for highest attendance, attracting 796,000 visitors, followed by the NGV’s Melbourne Now showcase of local contemporary artists in 2014, which drew 753,071 people. 


  • Melbourne ranked first in Australia, third in Asia and 12th globally in index of creative cities;
  • Cultural tourism accounted for 32 per cent of Victoria’s 10m international and domestic visitors;
  • International cultural visitors could be worth $2.5 billion by 2025;
  • Cultural visitors stayed 25 per cent longer and spend 20 per cent more per trip;
  • Creative industries generated a significant percentage of employment in Victoria;
  • Creative industries and cultural tourism contribute $23 billion to state economy.


  • Live music performances: 5.4 million;
  • National Gallery of Victoria: 2.6 million;
  • Melbourne Museum: 1.8 million;
  • Australian Centre for the Moving Image: 1.45 million;
  • Comedy Festival: 800,000;
  • White Night: 600,000.


  • Melbourne has more than 100 art galleries;
  • Victoria hosts around 400 cultural festivals;  
  • Greater Melbourne has 465 live music venues;
  • There are 630 artist or rehearsal spaces available for rent; 
  • Victoria is home to 5800 visual arts and craft businesses.
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