Media Release | Monday 10 August 2020

Auckland’s leading arts, culture and heritage institutions are proving a popular success as visitor numbers to their destinations bounce back and some venues see such a revitalisation that local visitor numbers are higher than before COVID-19. In total, over 130,000 visitors enjoyed the Museums of Auckland in July 2020.

Kirsten Paisley, Director, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, says this resurgence shines a light on the arts and culture as the solution for domestic tourism:

‘The Museums of Auckland hold the key to the revival of the city and to the growth of our local economy. Collectively, we are visited by over a million New Zealanders each year, from all parts of the country. Cultural, heritage and arts attractions have always been a cornerstone of Auckland’s tourism offer. Together we represent an incredibly rich array of experiences – experiences that delight, engage, entertain, inform, excite and inspire. These are the levers this city needs now.’

Right across the sector, Aucklanders are showing up in droves to enjoy cultural experiences that are seeing school programmes booking out and a revival of domestic visitation. In July, the Museums of Auckland, comprising Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland War Memorial Museum, New Zealand Maritime Museum, MOTAT, Howick Historical Village, Heritage New Zealand’s Auckland sites, Stardome and the Navy Museum, began reopening their doors. With Howick Historic Village soon to reopen, all will have welcomed the local audience back with open arms.

The July school holidays brought significant family audiences to Auckland’s cultural attractions. Over the school holiday period, Heritage New Zealand’s historic house, Highwic, saw a 500% increase in visitation and Stardome reported a 40% increase in visitation.

Victoria Travers, Chief Executive of Stardome says:

‘We are incredibly grateful to Aucklanders for their patronage. We could really feel this aroha from our locals, and it means everything for us, especially as we celebrated Matariki and welcomed in the new year. We know there is a huge appetite from our local audience to return to our venues, and now we are inviting the rest of New Zealand to experience what we have to offer.’ 

David Gaimster, Chief Executive of Auckland Museum says:

‘In July 2020 we had over 60,000 visitors through our doors. This is an incredible response and it means so much to have the support of our local audiences. Since we reopened, Aucklanders and regional visitors have experienced new tours such as our behind-the-scenes “Secret Museum” tour and enjoyed the Wildlife Photographer of the Year international exhibition. Post-COVID-19 lockdown, the community engagement we’re seeing is stronger than ever.’

See PDF below for a selection of events now on at the Museums of Auckland

For more information, images and interview requests contact:
Samantha McKegg
Communications Officer, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
M +64 21 548 480 | E   

Press release -The answer for Auckland’s domestic tourism: Arts and Culture
216.72 KB PDF file