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Travel

10 Million Visitors Expected to Head to Sydney This Summer

  • Written by Melissa Coates



Destination NSW provides a taste of Summer with new flyover footage of Sydney's famous beaches. Click
here to view.

This Summer, more than 10 million overnight and day trip visitors are expected to visit Sydney to make the most of the warm weather, world famous beaches, globally recognised icons, first class dining scene and calendar of events.

Over the six month period of October – March Sydney will receive 18 million visitors, with 10 million of these expected to visit during Summer*.

Last year, Summer-loving tourists stayed around 29.2 million nights during the three months of the popular, warm season.

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said: “Summer is an absolutely magical time to visit Sydney and make the most of the city's famous coastal lifestyle with more than 90 beaches on offer.

“Last Summer, we welcomed more than 9.2 million visitors who spent more than $4.9 billion in Sydney, meaning tourists are taking advantage of the endless entertainment, dining and major event options after a day on the beaches.

“From a day at the Test at the historic SCG to a ride on one of Sydney's iconic ferries, summer is an exciting, vibrant and beautiful time in Sydney, and we look forward to more visitors from near and far over the next few sunny months.”

The top activities for visitors to Sydney are eating out, shopping, sightseeing, and attending events. To help plan holidays, Destination NSW, the State Government's tourism and major events agency, has developed a list of some of the top things to see and do whilst in town this Summer.

Where to eat: Waterside dining is one of Sydney's essential experiences. Visit LuMi Bar & Dining in Pyrmont for a two-hatted meal, and enjoy Turkish meze treats at Anason in Sydney's newest waterfront development, Barangaroo. Head to Paddington's newest restaurant, Fred's, and head to the Light Brigade Hotel just down the road for a rooftop beverage. When in Western Sydney, book at meal at Vela Dining & Bar along the Parramatta River, or enjoy the 180-degree river views on the deck at Port Bar. For a truly iconic experience, enjoy a sunset drink at Opera Bar, along the Sydney Opera House promenade, looking at the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 

Where to shop: Sydney is a hotspot for shopping that caters to lovers of high-end fashion, international labels and local, boutique designers. Visit hundreds of stores in Sydney's iconic Queen Victoria Building, The Strand, bustling Pitt Street Mall and Westfield Sydney which is full of luxury designer brands. For a boutique outdoor shopping experience, spend some time in Paddington exploring Oxford St, William St and the popular Intersection, known for its collection of Australian designers.

Sightseeing musts: The world famous Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach and Manly are all absolute musts, especially for first-time Summer visitors. A walk around the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Centennial Parklands and visits to Taronga Zoo, SeaLife Manly and Sydney Aquarium are also popular.

Events to plan around: Sport fans, culture lovers, and history buffs are taken care of in Sydney's Summer calendar. The Coates Hire Sydney 500 car racing (2-4 December 2016), the New Year's Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (from 3 January 2017), APIA International Sydney tennis tournament (8-14 January 2017), HSBC Sydney 7s rugby fix (3-5 February 2017) and Australian Open of Surfing (25 February – 5 March 2017) are all on offer. For celebrity spotters, the 6th AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel will see the stars of Australian film and television walk the red carpet in Sydney (7 December 2016) and is a great excuse to frock up. Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives will feature cutting-edge technology that reveals the secrets of mummies from the British Museum in a world premiere exclusive at the Powerhouse Museum (from 10 December 2016). Sydney Festival runs for just over three weeks (7-27 January 2017) and offers hundreds of ticketed and free events including The Beach, NUDE LIVE, and Symphony Under the Stars. Finally, New Year's Eve and Australia Day are incredibly special times to be in Sydney to enjoy the fanfare and fireworks.

Visit www.sydney.com for more information, travel package and booking information.  

Summer talking points:

10 million visitors is more than double the population of New Zealand of approx. 4.5 million, and equivalent to:

  • 20,661 Qantas A380s full of passengers (based on 484 passengers per flight. Click here for reference).
  • 8,695 of the largest Freshwater Class Ferries, full of passengers
  • 217 Sydney Cricket Grounds, at full capacity
  • More than the number of cars that drive over Sydney Harbour Bridge every 60 days
  • 44 times the number of English words in the Oxford English Dictionary.
*Based on Tourism Research Australia data, with further modelling from Destination NSW based on annual travel trends.

Data sources: Destination NSW has modelled the likely visitation figure for the Summer period of December to February with data from Tourism Research Australia, National Visitor Survey data, a combination of International Visitor Survey data, and Australian Bureau of Statistics Overseas Visitor figures and arrivals data.

Summer definition: Summer data refers to the season of Summer which runs in Australia from December to February each year.

Share your favorite NSW experiences with Destination NSW by tagging #ilovesydney and #NewSouthWales.

For more information on experience, attractions and accommodation in Sydney and NSW, go to sydney.com and visitnsw.com

About Destination NSW

Destination NSW is the lead Government agency for the New South Wales (NSW) tourism and major events sectors. Our role is to market Sydney and NSW as one of the world's premier tourism and major events destinations; to secure major sporting and cultural events; to work in partnership with Business Events Sydney to win major international conventions and incentive travel reward programs; to develop and deliver initiatives that will drive visitor growth throughout the State; to achieve the NSW Government's goal of doubling overnight visitor expenditure within the State by the year 2020.

From food and wine festivals to surf competitions, world class sporting events to celebrations of arts and culture, New South Wales has an Annual Calendar of Events that celebrates the diverse facets of Australian contemporary life. Sydney is unrivalled in Australia in its capacity to stage exclusive events that have the whole world tuning in. Destination NSW has been at the forefront in creating and winning world-class events that put Sydney on the global front page. For a full list of events in Sydney go to sydney.com. 

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