Tourism Investment Monitor 2019–20

Arts, recreation and business services results


Capital cities

$12.8 billion

Down $1.6 billion
compared with 2018-19

49 projects


$1.5 billion

No change
compared with 2018-19

20 projects


$14.3 billion

Down $1.6 billion
compared with 2018-19

69 projects



Arts, recreation and business services are a key driver of visitor demand. They:

  • are the services and attractions that continue to enable and enhance the visitor experience, and
  • make a city, town or region a strong tourism drawcard

With competition increasing they will remain a key part of the tourism landscape.

In 2019–20 there were 69 arts, recreation and business services projects in the pipeline valued at $14.3 billion. This was $1.6 billion lower than 2018–19. This fall in value was mostly driven by the completion of Stage 2 of the Melbourne Olympic Parks redevelopment and the Cultural and Social Museum in Perth. These are valued at more than $760 million, combined.

Some of the most prominent projects in the arts, recreation and business services pipeline included the:

  • Brisbane Live entertainment precinct – $2.0 billion
  • Perth Opera House – $1.2 billion
  • Sydney Powerhouse Museum – $1.0 billion

Breakdown by project phase

About half of arts, recreation and business services projects were in the planning phase (34 projects). A further 27 projects were under construction, with only 4 entering the construction phase in 2019–20. This is much lower than the 11 projects that transitioned into the construction phase in 2018–19. This highlights the disturbances to construction due to the pandemic.

Three new projects entered the pipeline and 10 left through the year. Of those that left:

  • 7 projects valued at almost $1.0 billion were completed
  • 3 projects valued at $1.1 billion were deferred


Breakdown by investment type

Arts, recreation and business services businesses were hit particularly hard by the pandemic. This is because they are limited by health and safety regulations and ongoing capacity constraints. Investments in arts and culture projects (including museums) were the most common investment type:

  • 25 of these projects were valued at $5.3 billion
  • sports projects were valued at $3.7 billion across 17 projects

More than half of sports projects (9 projects valued at $2.2 billion) and almost half of arts and culture projects (11 projects valued at $2.6 billion) were still in the planning phase. Due to this, the impact of COVID-19 is expected to continue to play out.