Sydney and Melbourne visitors flock to Brisbane

Brisbane from Howard Smith Wharves

Brisbane’s drawcard events are luring record numbers of visitors from across the country, with Lord Mayor Graham Quirk revealing a major boost to the city’s tourism industry.

Cr Quirk said the latest National Visitor Survey from Tourism Australia revealed visitors from Sydney and Melbourne in particular had been flocking to the city over the past year.

“Brisbane has experienced huge domestic visitor numbers over the past year to March, with 6.9 million people helping to lift total visitor expenditure in Brisbane to a record $4.4 billion, up 14.9 per cent on the year before,” he said.

“This included an increase of 17.7 per cent of people who chose our city as a holiday destination.

“The total number of visitors from Sydney rose a stunning 20.8 per cent to an all-time high of 823,000.

“Not to be outdone, overall visitor numbers from Melbourne climbed 19.1 per cent to a record 515,000 over the year.”

This is in addition to more than 1.27 million international visitors in 2017, boosting Brisbane’s economy by a further $2.245 billion.

“Major drawcard events are an important way for us to create more to see and do so that more visitors come to our city, fill hotel rooms, boost hospitality, service and retail sectors and help to profile the city on the world stage,” Cr Quirk said.

“The first Battle of Brisbane boxing bout between Jeff Horn and Manny Pacquiao saw hotels filled to capacity and it provided an 80 per cent rise in revenue compared with the same Sunday the previous year.

“The tournament profiled Brisbane globally through $354 million of international online media coverage in major outlets such as the Daily Mail UK, Yahoo! Sports, ESPN, Forbes, IGN, USA Today, The Washington Post and Inquirer.”

Cr Quirk said visitor numbers to Brisbane had been growing steadily since 2012.

“From 2012 to 2017, the overall number of international visitors has grown by 33.5 per cent and the total number of domestic visitors has risen by 30 per cent,” he said.

“The amount spent by international visitors over this period has climbed a massive 49.7 per cent to $2.24 billion.

“The numbers are reflective of new direct aviation routes introduced to Brisbane over the past few years, including from Vancouver, Christchurch, Tokyo and Shanghai with recent additions from Beijing and Shenzhen.

“This has helped spur international visitor growth from Canada – up 24 per cent, and Japan – up 73 per cent.”

Additionally, the total number of Chinese visitors has doubled over the 2012-2017 period to become our largest international market.

Cr Quirk said the G20, Battle of Brisbane and international sporting events such as the Brisbane International, international cricket matches and international rugby fixtures had created awareness of Brisbane and helped attract more visitors.

He said Brisbane Marketing joined with airlines, Brisbane Airport Corporation, Tourism and Events Queensland and Tourism Australia in marketing activities overseas.