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New museums and galleries website to inspire fresh wave of ‘cultural tourism’

New museums and galleries website to inspire fresh wave of ‘cultural tourism’
October 4, 2013

In a major first for Australia's visual arts and cultural heritage sector, every museum and gallery in NSW can be accessed at the new, innovative and comprehensive Museums and Galleries NSW website.

Financed by the NSW Government, the website brings together over 350 properties from across NSW, to allow users the opportunity to discover hundreds of museums, galleries and Aboriginal keeping places and provides a welcome boost to NSW regional tourism.

Announcing the new website, NSW Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Hospitality and Racing, and Minister for the Art George Souris said it will make information on the range of collections, events and activities at museums and galleries across the State, readily accessible to the public.

Minister Souris stated "people using the site will be able to create trip itineraries and share their experiences via social networks. The site will also use geo-location technology and be mobile friendly, so people can find a gallery, museum or Aboriginal cultural centre nearby," he said.

"This activity complements the support the NSW Government provides to the sector through a range of grants, and funding for fellowships and mentoring which are administered by Museums and Galleries NSW."

Museums and Galleries NSW Chief Executive Michael Rolfe says the two-year-long website project offers a two-fold benefit, stating "the new site showcases hundreds of custodians of NSW local history and visual arts within a cutting-edge mobile-technology based, interactive experience.

"With over five million visitors to regional and metropolitan museums and galleries in NSW in 2012, excluding the major cultural venues such as the Art Gallery of NSW and MCA, this new website eliminates the challenge of finding any one of many volunteer and professionally staffed museums, regional galleries and Aboriginal cultural centres across the state.

"Given that many smaller museums have only a minimal web presence, the range of activities and events they offer are now more visible though their presence on the Museums and Galleries NSW website."

The economic potential for towns and regional centres is clearly demonstrated with nearly 3.6 million domestic overnight cultural visitors staying a total of 13.7 million nights in regional areas of NSW in 2012.

The website project has been actively supported by Destination NSW, which is committed to doubling the total regional NSW overnight visitor expenditure to $36.6 billion to meet their 2020 target.

As such, the Museums and Galleris NSW website responds to this potential. Designed by Toben and developed by Sydney-based The Interaction Consortium, the platform provides a much needed 'big picture' of where to go and what to see in regional NSW. It allows users to plan trips, build trails, read articles and explore exciting experiences available in museums and galleries.

Features of the website include:

1. A comprehensive list of the museums and galleries of NSW

2. A magazine style homepage: delivers authoritative, convivial content around the activities, exhibitions and events through themed articles and news items.

3. Cultural trails and travel itineraries: allows detailed exploration of regional centres by following trails or building personalised travel itineraries in the trip planner that can be exported as a PDF.

4. Search by proximity: The website includes geo-locational data for each entity allowing users to readily find nearby museums and galleries wherever they are in NSW.

Minister Souris also announced NSW Government funding of more than $100,000 for a range of volunteer-run museum projects. The money will be used to support collection management and develop new networks between volunteer-managed museums and other stakeholders in regional areas.

Explaining the funding the Minister added "museums and galleries play an important role in attracting visitors to regional communities, which in turn benefits the local economy. This new website will promote many of these museums and help them to attract visitors to regional destinations.

"People using the site will be able to create trip itineraries and share their experiences via social networks. The site will also use geo-location technology and be mobile friendly, so people can find a gallery, museum or Aboriginal cultural centre nearby.

Museums and Galleries NSW is the leading agency for regional, community and public museums and galleries in NSW.

For more information go to

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