Brisbane tourism surges as Aussie travellers break records

28 JUNE 2023

Brisbane’s year-round sunshine, bumper major events calendar and diverse leisure offering have attracted record-breaking numbers of Aussie holidaymakers to the city.

The latest National Visitor Survey results year ending March 2023 revealed holidaymakers are driving the surge behind Brisbane’s rebounding visitor economy. 

In the 12 months to March 2023, 7.4 million visitors spent time in the city, up 47% from the previous year, with a record-breaking 2.5 million holiday visitors enjoying Queensland’s vibrant capital city, up 62.3% YoY and a 7.7% increase on 2019. 

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said Brisbane’s popularity among holidaymakers continued to grow and reach new records. 

“It’s not just residents who think Brisbane is the best place to be, holidaymakers are visiting in droves to soak up the best of Brisbane,” Cr Schrinner said.

“There is so much to see and do in Brisbane from exciting outdoor adventures to alfresco finding and world-class culture and events.

“Every visitor to our city helps boost our economy as they stay at our local hotels, enjoy our restaurants and cafes and shop at our local businesses.

“Brisbane’s blockbuster line-up of major events is also driving visitation, when the Maroons sealed the series for State of Origin, Brisbane hotels hit a record 91 per cent occupancy for the year, followed closely by the mega weekends of the Brisbane Truck Show and NRL Magic Round.”

“We aren’t holding back with our push to get Aussies booking a Brisbane getaway, and it’s paying off,” Cr Schrinner continued. 

“We’ve seen numbers in our domestic target markets like Western Australia bounce back, with Brisbane welcoming a record 237,000 visitors, up 17.3% on 2019. 

“Visiting friends and relatives continues to be a strong pull for visitation thanks to Brisbane’s migration magnet, and with our evolving leisure offerings, there will always be a new reason to extend your stay.” 

Through Brisbane Economic Development Agency, the city is targeting sun seeking travellers in local and international markets, namely New Zealand, in the latest tourism campaign “Summer’s still calling”.

Brisbane welcomed close to 250,000 international visitors from January to March 2023. The majority travelled from New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany, racking up 6.9 million nights, down only 11.9% on 2019. 

“It’s great to welcome visitors from around the world back to Brisbane, with tourism, global business conferences and major events drawing international visitors to the city once again,” Cr Schrinner said. 

“We look forward to building on this momentum as Brisbane races towards host city status for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Brisbane’s National Visitor Survey results – Year ending March 2023 

  • Total expenditure – $6.9 billion, up 108% YoY, up 30.4% on 2019 – RECORD 
  • Total visitors – 7.4 million visitors, up 47% YoY 
  • Total visitor nights – 23.2 million nights, up 47.4% YoY 
  • Holiday visitors – 2.5 million visitors, up 62.3% YoY, up 7.7% on 2019 – RECORD 
  • Holiday nights – 7.3 million nights, up 44% YoY, up 17.2% on 2019 – RECORD
  • Visiting friends and relatives (VFR) – 2.9 million visitors, up 31.3% YoY 
  • VFR nights – 10 million nights, up 41.2% YoY
  • Business visitors – 1.6 million visitors, up 76.9% YoY 

Source markets to Brisbane 

  • Intrastate visitors – 4.2 million, up 17.3% YoY 
  • Intrastate holiday nights – 3.9 million, up 21.3% YoY, up 13.3 on 2019 – RECORD 
  • Interstate visitors – 3.2 million, up 122.5% YoY 
  • Interstate holiday nights – 865,000 nights, up 163.8% YoY, up 10.7% on 2019 – RECORD 
  • New South Wales visitors – 1.7 million visitors, up 110.3% YoY 
  • Victorian visitors – 834,000 visitors, up 164.1% YoY 
  • Western Australian visitors – 237,000 visitors, up 17.3% on 2019 – RECORD 
Aerial view