Camden Museum and Alan Baker Art Gallery add over $1.7 million annually
New research shows that cultural and heritage tourism is worth around $6.4 million per year to the Camden LGA.
This figure is drawn from data sourced from Destination NSW (2018), which states that the average daily spend of a day tripper was $140 per day. The proportion of day-trippers that constitute cultural and heritage visitors is 9% of all day-tripper visitors.
According to .idCommunity (2023) demographic resources, in 2020-2021, there were 509,000 day-trippers to the Camden LGA per year. Cultural and heritage visitors comprise around 45,000 day-trippers of the total number of day-tripper visitors annually. These day-trippers are worth $6.4 million to the Camden economy.
Within these figures, the volunteer-run Camden Museum is one of the most prominent destinations with around 6000 day-tripper visitors per year, worth around $840,000 to the local economy each year. The Alan Baker Art Gallery has about 6500 day-tripper visitors annually, worth around $910,000 to the local economy annually.
What is cultural and heritage tourism?
Destination NSW (2019) defines cultural and heritage tourism as:
Ted Silberberg explains cultural and heritage tourism as ‘a tool of economic development that achieves economic growth through attracting visitors from outside a host community, who are motivated wholly or in part by interest in the historical, artistic, scientific or lifestyle/heritage offerings of a community, region, group or institution’Source: Cultural Tourism and Business Opportunities for Museums and Heritage sites, Tourism Management, Ted Silberberg, 1995.
How important is cultural and heritage tourism?
Destination NSW (2019) quotes research from Tourism Australia that
‘rich history and heritage’ was the 4th most important factor for the Domestic market when choosing a holiday destination, and 6th most important for the International market.Source: Consumer Demand Project, Tourism Australia, 2018
According to the National Trust of Australia (2018):
Globally, heritage tourism has become one of the largest and fastest growing tourism sectors, with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation estimating that more than 50% of tourists worldwide are now motivated by a desire to experience a country’s culture and heritage
Of all international visitors to Australia in 2017, 43% participated in a cultural activity and 33.9% in a heritage activity. Cultural and heritage segments have grown at 7.5% and 11.2% respectively over the past four years.Source: 1. Tourism Research Australia, IVS YE September 2017. 2. United Nations World Trade Organisation, 2016 Annual Report
Cultural and Heritage Tourism in Camden
The Camden township is a site rich in heritage and history and a visitor destination with huge potential.
The Camden LGA is an active participant in cultural and heritage tourism with a host of visitor attractions in the and is outlined in the Macarthur Visitors Guide (MVG 2020). The guide is complemented by the Camden Heritage Walking Tour guide (CHWT 2023), the Camden Scenic Drive (CSD 2020) and the Visit Camden Official Visitor Guide (CVIC 2022).
Camden Council is responsible for the most critical cultural and heritage tourism planning instrument. The Camden Heritage Conservation Area, Argyle Street, and John Street precincts are within it. (DCP 2019) The DCP (2019) outlines the conservation area’s character elements, objectives and controls.
Camden Council (2023) provides valuable information on its Heritage Planning webpage and lists all the local heritage items on the local and state heritage inventory (CC 2020).
Within cultural and heritage tourism, storytelling is an essential feature of the visitor experience.
Oliver Serrat (2008) defines storytelling as
The vivid description of ideas, beliefs, personal experiences, and life-lessons through stories or narratives that evoke powerful emotions and insights.https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/27637/storytelling.pdf
The National Trust of Australia (2018) maintains that storytelling is a new global trend and
found that what encourages a visitor to a certain destination is its ability to engage in unforgettable and truly inspiring experiences that touch visitors in an emotional way and connects them with special places, people and cultures.Source: Tropical Tablelands Tourism, Hero Experiences Guidebook (2015)
Camden storyteller Ian Willis (2023a) has written extensively about the local history of the Camden area, with an outstanding example being the Camden History Notes blog. He has published many other articles and stories in newspapers, newsletters, journals and books (2023b).
The outstanding storytelling organisation in the Camden LGA is the Camden Historical Society (CHS 2023a). The society’s activities include the biannual journal Camden History (CHS 2023b), monthly public lectures, and numerous book publications. (CHS 2023c). The Camden Museum archives provide much raw material for local storytelling. (CHS 2023d)
The Camden Area Family History Society (CAFHS 2023) is a crucial storytelling organisation which draws on raw material from extensive archives and keen volunteer members.
The Back Then feature of The District Reporter provides the most popular storytelling platforms. Here local storytellers include Ian Willis (2023c), John Wrigley, Julie Wrigley and others who tell interesting and exciting local stories about the past in each issue.
CAFHS 2023, Camden Area Family History Society. CAFHS. https://www.cafhs.org.au/
CC 2019, Camden Development Control Plan 2019. Camden Council. https://dcp.camden.nsw.gov.au/
CC 2020, Local and State Heritage Items listed under: State Environment Planning Policy (Sydney Regions Growth Centres)2006, & Camden Local Environment Plan 2010. Camden Council. https://www.camden.nsw.gov.au/assets/pdfs/Planning/Heritage-Conservation/Heritage-Items-List-September-2020-v1.pdf
CC 2023, Heritage Planning. Camden Council. https://www.camden.nsw.gov.au/strategic-planning/heritage-planning/
CHS 2023a, Camden History. Camden Historical Society. http://www.camdenhistory.org.au/index.html
CHS 2023b, Camden History, the journal of the Camden Historical Society. Camden Historical Society. http://www.camdenhistory.org.au/chsjournal.html
CHS 2023c, Publications For Sale At The Camden Museum. Camden Historical Society. http://www.camdenhistory.org.au/Publications%20for%20Sale%20%2022.5.2018.pdf
CHS 2023d, Camden Museum Archive Catalogue by Category. Camden Historical Society. http://www.camdenhistory.org.au/LibraryJune2008.pdf
CHWT 2023, Camden Heritage Walking Tour. Pamphlet. Camden Council. https://www.camden.nsw.gov.au/assets/Uploads/Camden-Heritage-Walking-Tour-2023.pdf
CSD 2020, Camden Scenic Drive. Pamphlet. Camden Council. https://www.camden.nsw.gov.au/assets/Tourism/Camden-Scenic-Drive.pdf
DCP 2019, 2.16.4 Camden Heritage Conservation Area. Camden Council. https://dcp.camden.nsw.gov.au/general-land-use-controls/environmental-heritage/camden-heritage-conservation-area/
Destination NSW 2019, Cultural and Heritage Tourism in NSW, Year Ended December 2018. NSW Government, Sydney. https://www.destinationnsw.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/cultural-and-heritage-tourism-to-nsw-snapshot-ye-de-2018.pdf
Ian Willis 2023a, Camden History Notes, Some Stories of Place. Camden History Notes. https://camdenhistorynotes.com/
Ian Willis 2023b, Ian Willis Historian. Author. https://ianwillis.wordpress.com/
Ian Willis 2023c, Newspaper Articles. Academia.com. https://independent.academia.edu/IanWillis/Newspaper-Articles
idCommunity 2023, Camden Council area, Tourism visitor summary. Camden Council. https://economy.id.com.au/camden/tourism-visitor-summary
MVG 2020, Macarthur Visitors Guide, Camden & Campbelltown. Camden Council & Campbelltown City Council. https://www.camden.nsw.gov.au/assets/Tourism/Macarthur-Visitors-Guide-2020.pdf
NTA 2018, Next Steps: Australian Heritage Tourism Directions Paper. National Trust, June. https://www.nationaltrust.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Australian-Heritage-Tourism-Directions-paper-.pdf
Olivier Serrat 2008, Storytelling. Knowledge Solutions. https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/27637/storytelling.pdf
The District Reporter. https://www.tdr.com.au/
Tourism Research Australia 2020, Regional NSW Visitor Profile, Year Ending June 2019. Destination NSW. https://www.destinationnsw.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/travel-to-regional-nsw-snapshot-jun-2019.pdf
CVIC 2022, Visit Camden Official Visitor Guide. Camden Visitor Information Centre, Elderslie.
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