Major events deliver record visitor expenditure for Brisbane

Brisbane City skyline

Major events are injecting more visitor expenditure into Brisbane than ever before with their economic impact expected to reach $165 million by the end of the financial year.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said this was a large increase on the $113 million recorded in the previous year and was due to a showcase of bumper events during the past 12 months.

“Major events support our local economy and create jobs right across Brisbane,” he said.

“Events such as the Battle of Brisbane bouts, the Ashes cricket, the Rugby League World Cup finals and Bledisloe Cup Rugby Test have helped attract huge numbers of visitors from across Australia and overseas.

“In addition, we have had a bumper year of cultural product with GOMA’s Marvel Exhibition bringing in a significant number of visitors and a great year of musicals playing to packed houses.

“We’ve also got another bumper sporting weekend ahead with many visitors expected for the Stradbroke Handicap at the Winter Racing Carnival and the Wallabies face Ireland at Suncorp Stadium with a bumper crowd expected.”

Cr Quirk’s comments came as he opened the second annual Lord Mayor’s Tourism Summit at the newly-opened W Brisbane hotel.

Working under a ‘collaboration’ theme, the summit drew together 200 tourism operators, industry and government representatives, entrepreneurs and event partners to collectively forge actions to grow the city’s visitor economy.

Cr Quirk said major events were important to Brisbane – drawing in visitors, filling hotel rooms, boosting the hospitality, service and retail sectors and profiling the city on the world stage.

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

“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 Brisbane had secured a number of major tourism wins over the past financial year.

“In March, Brisbane hosted Routes Asia for the first time, bringing together 950 of the Asia Pacific’s aviation industry leaders.

“Routes Asia gave us the opportunity to showcase Brisbane’s aviation and tourism credentials to key decision-makers who plan and negotiate new air services within the region.

“Brisbane is continuing to attract new direct aviation routes and we’ve seen new services arrive from Beijing and Shenzhen with upgraded air capacity from Shanghai, Taipei, Singapore and Dubai and tonight we welcome Malaysia Airlines back to Brisbane from Kuala Lumpur.

“International students are also a good news story for Brisbane with numbers of enrolments rising 12 per cent to 85,000 over 2017.

“The international student sector is worth $3 billion to the city and we have the opportunity to entice their relatives and friends on a holiday to Brisbane.”

This year’s Lord Mayor’s Tourism Summit was themed “Driving Brisbane’s tourism momentum through collaboration”.