Brisbane Tourism Records Smashed As Visitor Numbers Surge

17 JANUARY 2020

Brisbane international and interstate visitor and spending records have been broken after a dramatic surge in interstate visitors and key markets, including North America, in the year ending September 2019.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said results from Tourism Research Australia’s International Visitor Survey revealed Brisbane had grown in popularity for visitors from the United States, Canada and China. 

“We have seen sustained growth in these key international markets with numbers to Brisbane from Canada up 26.5% to 42,000, the US up 6.3% to 106,000 and China up 2.3% to 264,000,” Cr Schrinner.

“This is great news for our city which is in hot pursuit of the lucrative North American market.

“We have partnered on marketing campaigns in this region and alongside new direct routes to Brisbane from San Francisco and Chicago, we expect to see even more uplift in this market.”

Visitors numbers rose 2.1% to a record 205,000 from Continental Europe.

Cr Schrinner said Brisbane has now recorded continuous record growth in total international visitor numbers for the past 22 quarters (since 2014) and Brisbane’s Visitor Economy 2031 Vision was about capitalising on this.

“This strategy is set to secure an extra $6.5 billion in visitor spending each year and drives 50,000 new jobs for the region,” he said.

“It’s early days but today’s record results show why this is an important strategy for Brisbane,” Cr Schrinner said.

Cr Schrinner said the latest National Visitor Survey revealed Sydneysiders and Melburnians were also arriving in droves to Brisbane and spending up big while visiting.

“The total number of domestic visitors to Brisbane have reached a record high of 7.9 million, with an equally impressive record spend seeing us tip over $5 billion for the first time,” he said.

“Brisbane is proving to be a favourite destination with its southern cousins with record visitation from Sydney (up 9.7 per cent to 973,000) and Melbourne (up 17.1 per cent to 634,000).”

Cr Schrinner said the city’s economic development board, Brisbane Marketing would launch the second phase of its Nothing’s Changed, Everything’s Different campaign in southern markets in coming months.

“Locals are great advocates of Brisbane bringing their friends and relatives here to see our city’s transformation,” Cr Schrinner said.

“The tourism infrastructure and leisure experiences in our city are flourishing - there’s a real buzz about Brisbane and that makes it a very compelling place to visit.”

Brisbane’s International Visitor Survey results – Year to September 2019

All Visitors – up 3.6% to 1.4 million – RECORD
Holiday Visitors – up 1.8% to 747,000 - RECORD
Visiting friends and relatives (VFR) – up 9.1% to 456,000 – RECORD
Expenditure – up 4.4% to $2.8 Billion - RECORD

Top international markets for Brisbane

China – all visitors up 2.3% to 264,000 - RECORD
New Zealand – all visitors up 3.5% to 229,000
UK – all visitors down 1.8% to 129,000
USA – all visitors up 6.3% to 106,000 - RECORD
Germany – all visitors up 1.2% to 58,000
Taiwan – All visitors – down 9.4% to 55,000

Brisbane’s National Visitor Survey results – Year to September 2019

Total visitors – up 11.6% to 7.9M - RECORD
Holiday visitors – up 11.4% to 2.3M - RECORD
Visiting friends and relatives (VFR) – up 14.2% to 3.2M - RECORD
Total expenditure – up 16.6% to $5.1B - RECORD

Brisbane national visitors

Sydney – all visitors up 9.7% to 973,000 - RECORD
Melbourne – all visitors up 17.1% to 634,000 - RECORD