24 MARCH 2022

As the city reopens to the world, work is underway to make Brisbane top of mind. Stories of resilience and community spirit have captured the nation’s heart with Brisbane experiencing its biggest rainfall in history. Despite this challenge, the city is bouncing back stronger than ever and is ready to welcome visitors once again.

Destination impressions count

While a full recovery will take some time, the return of tourists, increased attendance at business and major events, as well as flight routes and capacities opening presents exciting opportunities for the city.

Tourism Research Australia’s National Visitor Survey indicated more than 22.8 million visitor nights were generated in Brisbane for the year ending September 2019, which contributed $5 billion to the local economy. Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA) is working to rebuild the visitor economy back to these pre-COVID levels, with a mission to put the city on the global stage as a sought-out destination for visitors and businesses alike.

To cement the city’s position as a must-visit destination, BEDA worked with local creative agencies VMLY&R and Bigfish to launch a new destination brand for the greater Brisbane region in 2022, available via the Brand Toolkit.

It was important the city’s brand not only elevated its appeal as a business and leisure destination, but taps into everything that is uniquely Brisbane, reflecting the city’s lifestyle, climate, opportunities and, most importantly, its people.

“Shining a light on the stories of Brisbane is also a unique aspect of the brand, showcasing the city’s exceptional dining and cultural offerings, enviable lifestyle, and strong business appeal particularly as we target international markets over the coming years,” said BEDA Chief Executive Officer Anthony Ryan.

Brisbane’s new visual identity is contemporary and innovative and represents the colours, nostalgia, confidence and humour of Brisbane.

The colour palette reflects the moods, seasons and icons of Brisbane with shades including Gabba Maroon, Roar Red, Moreton Sand, Brisbane Gold and Jacaranda Purple.

"The brand was also 100 per cent made in Brisbane, utilising music from local artists, and developed by a cohort of passionate local creatives who love the city and all that it offers," continued Ryan. 

Launched just days before the floods, the new brand provides an opportunity to strengthen Brisbane’s image post-disaster.

Research gathered by the University of Queensland after Brisbane’s 2011 floods found that there are strong links between destination image and visitation after an event like this.

Two key motivators for people to visit Queensland after the 2011 floods were those who were driven by curiosity and those who felt a need to assist the destination in some way.

Capitalising on the opportunity to attract visitation through positive positioning, BEDA is working in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) on the ‘Nothing Beats Brisbane’ campaign, featuring the city’s burgeoning precincts and alfresco open-air lifestyle with a clear message to travellers – the city is open for business and ready to welcome you.

Changing travel habits

At the recent Destination Australia Conference, key consumer research indicated a change in travel behaviour, with confident travellers becoming last-minute decision-makers with the domestic and international travel booking window significantly shortened.

Sustainability and First Nations tourism will be a strategic priority for Tourism Australia, with the national tourism body concluding that destinations who emphasise a reconnection with nature will win hearts.

BEDA has been long committed to working with First Nations tourism businesses that offer extraordinary experiences across the city and Brisbane region surrounds, including recent QTIC award winner Spirits of the Red Sands and Nyanda Cultural Tours.

In 2021, this work was further strengthened for the Year of Indigenous Tourism through the Relationship Building Program, which aims to recognise and deepen the understanding of local First Nations culture and history.

Brisbane’s unique selling points

At the first ‘On the Couch’ series for 2022 at the Hub, Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff said he was once told Brisbane is, “difficult to explain and easy to experience.”

From the inner city to the suburbs and wider Brisbane region, there are endless unique experiences.

Close to Brisbane’s CBD, Mulgumpin (Moreton Island) and Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) offer visitors multiple nature-based escapes with pristine islands and unique wildlife.

The unique experiences don’t stop there with Lonely Planet recently naming the Scenic Rim one of the world’s hottest destinations for travel this year.

Just one hour from Brisbane’s CBD, the Scenic Rim was the only Australian inclusion on this exclusive list, placing the region as number eight in its top 10 above France’s Burgundy and Vancouver Island in Canada.

The development across the city in the past two years has continued to gain momentum despite the global challenges, and Brisbane is now welcoming visitors with a range of new and revamped venues, infrastructure and experiences.

“From new 5-star hotels to acclaimed restaurants, there are a number of reasons why people are putting Brisbane to the top of their to-do list,” BEDA Chief Executive Officer Anthony Ryan said.

Brisbane major events ahead

The city’s world-class infrastructure and culture continues to attract a jam-packed calendar of major sporting and cultural events, epic live music line-ups and exclusive art exhibitions.

“Major events are a huge drawcard for the city, bringing spectators from across Queensland and interstate to fill local hotels, book out restaurants and support retailers,” Mr Ryan said.

From the Brisbane Cycling Festival to the NRL Magic Round and Nitro World Games, the 2023 Major Events Calendar is shaping up for the year ahead.

More than $210 million in economic activity is set to boost Brisbane’s local economy across 27 live events, with more to come.

Brisbane City