A national survey of business owners, visitors and residents, undertaken by Dr Amelia Green and Professor Scott Weaven from Griffith University, found the economic benefits of silo art varied greatly across different locations.
The survey results come as Balaklava wrangles with concept designs for potential silo art instigated by the Balaklava Area Committee.
Owen, Snowtown, Wirrabara and Farrell Flat all have silo art in their township, and Eudunda’s current installation is nearing completion.
Overall, about half of silo art visitors reported spending between $11 and $50 in each town with silo art, and a further 25 per cent reported they spent between $50 and $100.
However, Dr Green highlighted that survey respondents said the amount they spent depended on factors such as what businesses were open and whether the silo art site was connected to the town or not.
“The research shows a current disconnect between visitors eager to give back to local communities but frustrated when nothing is open, and business owners keen for more customers,” Dr Green said.
Of 183 business owners surveyed, only 64 per cent said silo art attracted customers to their business,
Dr Green said silo art presents a ‘golden opportunity’ economically, but there are greater challenges regarding deepening the visitor experience, inspiring return visits, and viewing silo art as a launching pad for broader tourism strategies and revitalisation.
“Visitor awareness and attraction are two initial hurdles. The question then becomes, how do you make visitors fall in love with your town?” Dr Green asked.
The report recommended information about the silo art, local businesses and nearby tourist attractions be displayed at the site as well to better the visitor experience.
Yet the findings from the survey indicated silo art has a positive social impact on local communities.
Also, 70 per cent of surveyed residents reported that silo art stimulated happiness through enjoyable interactions with high quality art, 72 per cent said a benefit was the beautification of the everyday environment and 65 per cent felt reinforced or increased town pride.