The economic impact of the shutdown

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

The closure of so many attractions and events will have a severe economic impact on destinations, local economies and people.

the Sydney Opera House for the May 2014 Vivid Sydney celebration

Many rely on tourism jobs and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) estimates that 1 in 10 jobs throughout the entire world are due to tourism.

What impact is there when an event is cancelled? Take Vivid Sydney as an example

For 2020 Vivid Sydney has been cancelled. The event, which is only eleven years’ old, attracted some 2.4 million people last year and was due to be held from the 22 May to 13 June. This fast-growing event would have been a big tourism boost to the city and NSW.

Increasingly the event attracted people overseas with China being the greatest source of overseas visitors and then the USA. (up 163% in 2019) India, (up 46%) South Korea (up 24%) and Malaysia (up 12%.)  It also has been attracting more and more Britons to visit the event and Australia as a whole. None of those could or will visit this year even if the event wasn’t cancelled

The reason is obviously coronavirus.

2019 had broken all records for attendance and international visitation, with 2.4 million guests enjoying the largest festival of light, music and ideas in the Southern Hemisphere.

Vivid Sydney is indicative of how tourist attractions have been hit around the world with probably the biggest – the Olympic Games in Tokyo – joining the band of those either being cancelled or postponed. Whilst the Olympic Games might recap its its potential revenue in 2021, Vid Sydney is one that won’t. Like all yearly events eg Glastonbury and the comedy and literary festivals what is lost in one year has an economic impact on the local community that cannot be replaced.

Vivid Sydney 2019 generated $172 million in tourism expenditure for NSW. Over 36,000 Vivid Sydney visitors then travelled to regional NSW and stayed overnight, generating more than $18 million in tourism related expenditure. This year that revenue would have been especially welcome given the effects of the bushfire season which hit hard many areas of NSW and other states.

As it is, all those people who might have hoped for part-time jobs will get nothing. The hotels, hostels, Airbnb rentals will be empty

Vivid Sydney 2019 generated seven million Facebook video views and eight million visits to the Vivid Sydney website giving the city a very high awareness around the world. Images of the light shows were featured in broadcast and print media in 49 countries by 63 different overseas journalists.

The tourism authority and the state will be hoping that 2021 will bring all those visitors back to Sydney.

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