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International visitors fuel record tourism spending in BrisbaneInternational travellers flocking to Brisbane have driven record-breaking visitor spend in the city.

The latest Tourism Research Australia data for the year ending December 2023, showed international visitors spent a record $2.9 billion in the city in 2023 up 1.7% from 2019, with a record number of nights for travellers visiting friends and family, up 21% from 2019 to 9.5 million.

While overall international visitor numbers continue to recover, down 21.8% from 2019 to 1.2 million, the average length of stay for visitors increased by 3.3 nights to 21.6 nights, reflecting the city’s burgeoning lifestyle, tourism and major events offerings.

New Zealand, the United Kingdom and USA had the largest numbers of international visitors to Brisbane in 2023, while record breaking numbers of visitors from countries including Canada, India and Thailand spent time in the city.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said Brisbane’s international reputation has had a positive impact on the growing levels of overseas visitation.

Brisbane has been named a must-visit destination by global publications like Time Magazine and travel bible Frommer’s, and international audiences are taking notice,” Cr Schrinner said.

“As Australia’s latest lifestyle capital, there is more to see and do in Brisbane than ever before, from riverside precincts like Howard Smith Wharves and South Bank, to world-class dining, stunning natural surrounds, and free and affordable events across the city.

“The return of international travellers is fantastic news for Brisbane’s economy, and it’s also wonderful to see residents welcoming their loved ones back to Brisbane to spend time together enjoying what makes our city and suburbs so special.

“It’s little wonder that travellers are spending more time here than ever before, and we’ll continue to support aviation routes from key markets so more visitors from around the world can enjoy the best of Brisbane.”

Domestic tourism in Brisbane has also continued to soar, with 7.3 million Australian travellers injecting a record-breaking $7.2 billion into the city in 2023, up 14.1% YoY.

Brisbane’s popularity with southern cities is also stronger than ever, with record numbers of visitors from Melbourne, up 9.4% YoY to 654,000, and an increase in YoY visitors from Sydney, up 10.3% to 940,000.

Brisbane Economic Development Agency Chief Executive Officer Anthony Ryan said the popularity of Brisbane with travellers from Sydney and Melbourne was supported by the city’s strategic destination marketing.

“The popularity of Brisbane for holidaymakers from southern states shows that the destination campaigns we are rolling out in those markets are resonating and enticing people to visit Brisbane in record numbers,” Mr Ryan said.

“Brisbane has received some truly enviable accolades in the past 12 months and we’ve seen our overall visitor economy grow to $10.1 billion, delivering economic benefits across the region and supporting local businesses and jobs.”

“Brisbane is setting the pace and we’re excited to see this momentum and upward trajectory continue.”

Brisbane is riding on a wave of international accolades recently, including the only Australian city named among The New York Times’ 52 Places to Go in 2024 and Tangalooma Beach on Moreton Island/Mulgumpin named one of Lonely Planet’s World’s Best Beaches.

These global honours came hot on the heels of TIME Magazine including Brisbane among its World’s Greatest Places of 2023, Fortitude Valley’s Agnes Restaurant crowned Restaurant of the Year in 2023 by Gourmet Traveller, and The Calile Hotel named as the best hotel in Oceania in The World’s 50 Best Hotels awards.



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

  • Total expenditure – $7.2 billion, up 14.1% YoY – RECORD
  • Total visitors – 7.3 million visitors, up 2.2% YoY
  • Total visitor nights – 21.9 million nights, down 4% YoY
  • Holiday visitors – 2.3 million visitors, up 3.4% YoY
  • Total spend per visitor – $992, up 11.6% YoY
  • Visiting friends and relatives (VFR) – 2.8 million visitors, down 5.3% YoY
  • Business visitors – 1.8 million visitors, up 14.4% YoY

Brisbane’s International Visitor Survey results – Year ending December 2023

  • Total expenditure – $2.9 billion, up 1.7% on 2019 – RECORD
  • Total visitors – 1.2 million visitors, down 21.8% on 2019
  • Total visitor nights – 24.9 million nights, down 7.9% on 2019
  • Total spend per visitor – $2,536, up 29.9% on 2019
  • Average length of stay – 21.6 nights, up 3.3 nights on 2019
  • International holiday nights – 5.1 million nights, down 28.5% on 2019
  • Visiting friends and relatives (VFR) – 442,000, down 2.6% on 2019
  • Total visiting friends and relatives (VFR) nights – 9.5 million, up 21% on 2019 – RECORD
  • Business visitors – 126,000, down 10.8% on 2019.

Source markets to Brisbane

  • Intrastate total visitors – 4.2 million, up 1.9% YoY
  • Interstate total visitors – 3.2 million, up 2.6% YoY
  • Interstate holiday visitors – 857,000 up 11.3% YoY
  • Interstate holiday nights – 3 million up 4.8 % YoY
  • Sydney total visitors – 940,000 million visitors, up 10.3% YoY
  • Melbourne total visitors – 654,000 visitors, up 9.4% YoY – RECORD
  • New Zealand – 219,000, down 4.6% on 2019
  • United Kingdom – 120,000, down 7% on 2019
  • United States of America – 99,000, down 9.5% on 2019
  • South Korea – 48,000, up 12.6% on 2019
  • China – 69,000, down 75.2% on 2019
  • India – 51,000 up 16.8% on 2019 – RECORD
  • India visitor nights – 2.8 million, up 51.7% on 2019 – RECORD
  • Canada – 44,000, up 12.7% on 2019 – RECORD
  • Thailand – 88,000, up 52.9% on 2019 – RECORD
  • Other Asia – 55,000, up 19.8% on 2019