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National Museum the ACT's Best Tourist Attraction

2 OCTOBER 2003

The National Museum of Australia has been named the Canberra and Capital Region's Major Tourist Attraction, just three years after bursting on to the national tourism scene.

With a history of challenging convention and encouraging debate about issues affecting Australians and what shapes our national culture, the National Museum is sometimes controversial but never dull. The Museum has earnt its place among the ACT's truly remarkable national institutions and is now an automatic entry in the 2003 National Tourism Awards, to be announced next February.

The National Museum of Australia, exploring the land, nation and people of Australia, has hosted almost two million visitors since it opened in March 2001. Surveys of 11,000 visitors reveal that a consistent 91 per cent are satisfied or very satisfied with their visit.

"This award recognises the success we have had at appealing to a diversity of Museum visitors: the young and old, the well-educated, the hurried tourist and the devoted museum-goer," says Museum Marketing Manager Trish Kirkland.

The National Museum's tourism product covers education, entertainment, public forums, community events, venue hire and research. Events planned for October demonstrate the diversity of the Museum's offering:

  • The Rugby World Cup will be celebrated with associated exhibitions and the screening of games in the Museum's spectacular Hall, from 10 October to 22 November, 2003.
  • FJ Holden fanatics will line their iconic cars up around the Museum site on Saturday, 18 October to mark the FJ's 50th anniversary.
  • The successful Rare Trades exhibition continues to draw crowds profiling the Australians who explore the tools and traditions of often ancient trades, from glass eye making to bookbinding, from millinery to sword making. Closes October 12.

This award follows the Museum receiving the British Guild of Travel Writers' 2002 Globe Award - Highly Commended Best New Tourism Project Worldwide; and the Canberra and Capital Region Tourism Award 2002 for New Tourism Development. The Museum's colourful new home has also won a swathe of architectural and building awards.

COMING UP: Outlawed! Bushrangers, Rebels and Revolutionaries, from November 27

For images and more information contact Public Affairs Director Martin Portus on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916481 or m.portus@nma.gov.au