Cemetery tourism on the rise
West Terrace Cemetery posts tourism record
Cemetery tourism continues to grow in popularity with Adelaide’s West Terrace Cemetery leading the way on the back of record visitation levels.
New figures released by the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority reveal that an all-time high 13,503 people visited West Terrace Cemetery for tourism-related activities in the 2014/2015 financial year, an increase of 14.7% on the previous year’s 11,757 visitors which was also a record visitation figure at the time.
The 2014/15 result is also more than triple the 4,056 tourism-based visitors to the State Heritage-listed cemetery in 2010/11, and follows West Terrace Cemetery’s induction into the SA Tourism Hall of Fame last year for excellence in heritage and cultural tourism.
Adelaide Cemeteries Authority Chief Executive Officer Robert Pitt says the increasing popularity of West Terrace Cemetery – which is Australia’s oldest operating capital city cemetery – can be attributed to the success of new guided tours and self-guided walking trails.
“South Australia has such a rich history and many of the stories that make up the fabric of our great state can be found at West Terrace Cemetery where more than 150,000 people from all walks of life are buried,” said Mr Pitt.
“We want to share these fascinating stories with locals and visitors alike, and have worked hard in recent years to develop a range of guided and self-guided tours.
“In May 2014 we introduced a guided sound and light experience for the first time at West Terrace Cemetery, which has proven popular and is now held every Friday evening throughout the year.
“There are also seven different guided tours to choose from which are held on a rotating basis on Tuesday and Sunday mornings. They include the new ‘Walking with ANZACs’ guided tour, which honours the more than 4,000 returned servicemen and women who lie at rest in the cemetery after bravely serving their country during World War I.
“Having worked hard to establish and develop these unique experiences, it’s satisfying to see the results knowing that visitors have a genuine interest in our state’s rich history.”
In addition to the many guided experiences, there are also five self-guided trails that allow people to explore the cemetery at their own pace, including the “Heritage Highlights”, “Beliefs, Attitudes and Customs”, “Trailblazing Women”, “Stories of the Everyday” and “Natural Heritage” trails.
Mr Pitt says the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority continues to pride itself on being the state’s most innovative provider of cemetery, burial and cremation services, while providing welcoming places for people to visit all year round.
“This year we’ve also launched a new brand campaign built around the simple proposition: “How will you be remembered?”, which is further encouraging people to consider their own existence and the lives they lead,” said Mr Pitt.
“For many people it doesn’t feel right to talk about death and dying, but it’s a natural part of life which we all need to acknowledge.
“At the Authority we’re continually looking at ways to promote community education around life and death by encouraging people to feel comfortable about their own mortality through honest and open conversations with their peers and loved ones.
“Our brand campaign also serves to encourage people to reflect on what’s really important in life, and to reinforce the importance of cemeteries as places to remember pre and post death.”
In addition to West Terrace Cemetery, the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority is responsible for the administration and maintenance of Enfield Memorial Park, Cheltenham Cemetery and Smithfield Memorial Park.
For more information about the Adelaide Cemeteries Authority visit www.aca.sa.gov.au.
Further information: Contact Tony Amato, ACA Marketing and Communications Team Leader, on 8139 7438 or 0403 010 131.