Major events help boost NZ holidaymakers to Brisbane

Wilsons Outlook

Brisbane’s commitment to building drawcard major events for the city appears to be paying dividends with a turnaround in the New Zealand holiday market according to the latest International Visitor Survey.

The spike in New Zealand tourism coincided with the inaugural Brisbane Global Rugby Tens, which featured five NZ-based teams. Holiday visitors from the “land of the long white cloud” increased by 5.1 per cent year on year to 51,000 in the January-March quarter, reversing a year-long decline from this market.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said Brisbane’s summer had provided yet another record-breaking quarter of international visitation with a trifecta of records in the year to March 2017.

“Brisbane’s tourism industry overall continues to gallop ahead with total international visitor numbers climbing 4.9 per cent% to a record high of more than 1.2 million,” Cr Quirk said. 

“Holiday visitors are flocking to Brisbane, contributing half of the total visitors and with a record rise of 7.4 per cent from the year prior.

“International visitors are also spending more than ever, growing almost 10 per cent and injecting an unprecedented $2.13 billion into the city’s economy.” 

Cr Quirk said the results were an indication of Brisbane’s evolution as a destination of choice for international visitors.  

“Visitors are increasingly seeing Brisbane as a destination to experience not only stunning natural attractions, but also innovative food experiences and blockbuster major events,” he said. 

“In addition to hosting the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens, we have welcomed the Australia v Pakistan international cricket series, the Marvel exhibition at GOMA, NRL double-headers, Brisbane International tennis and World Science Festival Brisbane – with cornerstone events like the Battle of Brisbane boxing, Rugby League World Cup and The Royal Ballet at QPAC still to come. 

“The joint international marketing efforts put in by Brisbane City Council through Brisbane Marketing and our partners Tourism and Events Queensland and Tourism Australia are paying dividends for Brisbane.”

Cr Quirk said that working alongside Brisbane Airport Corporation to establish new flight paths had also opened Brisbane’s economy to new markets.

“Across the past year, we’ve seen growth from Japan, China and Canada, all of which have had new direct routes to Brisbane open in the last year.  Korea and the US also continue to respond strongly,” he said. 

International Visitor Survey Results: 

All visitors – up 4.9% to 1.206 million
Holiday visitors – up 7.4% to 649,000
Expenditure – up 9.6% to $2.13 billion 

All visitor nights – up 9% to 26.1 million
Holiday visitor nights – up 8.5% to 7.2 million
Visiting friends and relatives – up 6.3% to 6.9 million
Business nights – down 12.4% to 660,000

China – all visitors up 4.2% to 217,000; holiday visitors up 3.6% to 161,000
NZ – all visitors down 5.6% to 172,000; holiday visitors up 5.1% to 51,000
UK – all visitors up 1.8% to 127,000; holiday visitors up 3.1% to 73,000
US – all visitors up 10.1% to 92,000; holiday visitors up 27.8% to 50,000
Germany – all visitors stable at 55,000; holiday visitors up 6.7% to 47,000
Japan – all visitors up 17.9% to 40,000; holiday visitors up 56.1% to 18,000
Canada – all visitors up 24.1% to 32,000; holiday visitors up 31.2% at 19,000
Korea – all visitors up 27.2% to 42,000; holiday visitors up 20.4% to 26,000