Courtesy of the Ontario Arts Council (OAC)

The Economic Impact of Arts and Culture Tourism

Ontario Arts Council-funded report shows that arts and culture tourism within Ontario has triple the economic impact of non-arts and culture tourism.

February 13, 2024

Last November, Ontario Culture Days participated in a conversation with Ontario Arts Council CEO, Michael Murray, and Executive Director of the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, Kathleen Sharpe, at the Northern Ontario Tourism Summit. Named “Why You REALLY Want to Attract the Cultural Tourist”, the discussion focused on the importance of Arts and Culture tourism and the impact it has on the province.

A report called “Ontario Arts and Culture Tourism Profile”, funded by OAC and completed by Forum Research, was released on the same day as the Summit, and revealed important information about arts and culture tourism in Ontario. It found that Arts and Culture tourists have triple the economic impact compared to non-arts and culture tourists. There was a total of $11.4 billion spent on arts and culture, with $5.7 billion direct value-added to Ontario, which directly supported more than 77,000 full time jobs

Courtesy of the Ontario Arts Council (OAC)

The report highlighted the benefits that arts and culture tourism brings to local and provincial economies. Arts and Culture tourists make up 13% of all tourist trips, but accounted for 30% of tourist spending in Ontario. The average spending amount of arts and culture tourists on a trip was $618 in economic impact, while non-arts and culture trips averaged at $213. Also, 40% of Canadian arts and culture tourists tended to stay in a location for 3 or more days while only 13% of non-arts and culture tourists would stay for 3 or more days.

Courtesy of the Ontario Arts Council (OAC)

Out-of-province and international arts and culture tourists tended to stay longer as well, with 72% of all travelers staying for 3 or more nights. 18.4 million trips to Ontario consisted of arts and culture trips, with almost 1 in 3 international visitors contributing to arts and culture tourism.

Courtesy of the Ontario Arts Council (OAC)

While the importance of tourism has been known and discussed in previous years, the findings by Forum Research and OAC confirm that arts and culture are an integral part of Ontario tourism. Ontario Culture Days is proud to have participated in discussion at the Northern Ontario Tourism Summit, and to participate in arts and culture tourism.

For more insights, read the full report here.

PLUS: Explore Ontario with ON Culture Guides!