Brisbane’s strong suite of summer sporting events has provided a hook for New Zealand holiday visitors, contributing to a record influx of international visitors to the city.
The latest International Visitor Survey from Tourism Australia reveals Brisbane attracted 1.3 million international visitors over calendar year 2017, up 6.7 per cent from the year before.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said Brisbane’s early-summer line-up of blockbuster sporting events had helped spark a sharp rise in New Zealand holidaymakers heading to the city, up 29.7 per cent to 60,000 over the year.
“Drawcard events including the third Bledisloe Cup rugby Test, the Ashes cricket, the Rugby League World Cup finals and the Battle of Brisbane 2 boxing event gave our cousins from across the ditch more reasons to visit our city,” Cr Quirk said.
“Major events are important to Brisbane – they draw in visitors, fill our hotel rooms, boost our hospitality, service and retail sectors and profile our city on the world stage.”
The International Visitor Survey found total visitor expenditure in Brisbane grew 11.4 per cent to a record-breaking $2.245 billion, while the number of holidaymakers rose 7.6 per cent to an all-time high of 696,000.
Cr Quirk said there was solid growth across many of Brisbane’s international tourism markets.
“Holiday visitors from Canada grew strongly by 28.1 per cent to 21,000; German holiday visitors rose by 15.6 per cent to 51,000 while Taiwanese holidaymakers jumped 47.1 per cent to 31,000,” he said.
“New direct flights from Beijing, Shenzhen, Vancouver, Tokyo and Christchurch launched over the past couple of years have helped contribute to a rise in international tourism, as have recent air capacity increases from Taipei.
“Discussions on developing air route networks will be on the table in our city next week when Brisbane hosts the Routes Asia conference, which will bring together the Asia Pacific’s leading airlines, airports and tourism authorities.”
Cr Quirk said Brisbane Marketing worked with Tourism Australia, Tourism and Events Queensland, Brisbane Airport Corporation and airline partners on securing new air routes and conducting marketing and trade activities in various markets.