There has been a record influx of international visitors to Brisbane, with more than 1.3 million internationals visiting the river city in the past year.
The latest International Visitor Survey from Tourism Australia, released on Wednesday, revealed international visitor numbers were up 6.7 per cent on the year before.
Brisbane lord mayor Graham Quirk said the city's hosting of several summer sporting events contributed to a sharp spike in New Zealand holidaymakers.
There was a 29.7 per cent increase in New Zealand holidaymakers in Brisbane in the past year, bringing the total New Zealand visitation to about 60,000.
“Drawcard events including the third Bledisloe Cup rugby Test, the Ashes cricket, the Rugby League World Cup finals and the Battle of Brisbane 2 boxing event gave our cousins from across the ditch more reasons to visit our city,” Cr Quirk said.
“Major events are important to Brisbane – they draw in visitors, fill our hotel rooms, boost our hospitality, service and retail sectors and profile our city on the world stage.”
International visitors also splashed more cash during their Brisbane visits than before.
The survey found visitor expenditure grew 11.4 per cent to a record $2.2 billion.
In the past year, holiday visitors from Canada grew by 28.1 per cent to 21,000, German holiday markets rose by 15.6 per cent to 51,000 while Taiwanese holidaymakers jumped 47.1 per cent to 31,000.
Cr Quirk said the launch of direct flights from Beijing, Shenzhen, Vancouver, Tokyo and Christchurch over the past few years along with increased air capacity from Taipei helped contribute to a rise in international tourism.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the results were great news for Queensland's $25 billion tourism industry.
"The latest International Visitor Survey data shows our industry is going from strength to strength," she said.
“We’ve done a lot of work to attract more direct flights to Queensland and access to key Asian markets is still a priority – that’s why we’re investing $48 million in this space in this term of government.
“But the job’s not over. The international tourism market has never been so competitive and it’s important we keep rising to the challenge by improving our tourism offering."
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