Hoteliers are ready for soccer fans to descend on Brisbane in November.
Hoteliers are ready for soccer fans to descend on Brisbane in November.

More than 20,000 anticipated room nights will provide a welcome boost to occupancy levels across Brisbane in November after the Queensland government announced the Socceroos will take on South Korea in a post-World Cup friendly match on November 17.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones today confirmed the deal, saying soccer fans from around the country would descend on Brisbane for the first meeting between the two nations since the Asian Cup Final in Sydney in 2015, won 2-1 by the Socceroos. The upcoming event will also be the first match played by the Socceroos under the tutelage of new head coach Graham Arnold.

Minister Jones referenced the competitive rivalry between the two nations, adding that on the back of the recent World Cup in Russia, now was the perfect time to capitalise on huge interest in international soccer.

“These two nations have an extremely competitive history highlighted by the gripping final of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in Sydney.

It will also give Socceroos fans the chance to enjoy a piece of live world-class soccer action in their own backyard,” the Minister added.

The forthcoming football showcase, a partnership between Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), Brisbane Marketing and Football Federation Australia (FFA), is expected to inject around $5.8 million into the Queensland economy through hotel bookings, dining and increased visits to local tourism operators. Over the course of 2018, state coffers are expected to reap upwards of $780 million as a result of increased government expenditure into luring major events to the state.

AccorHotels’ Chief Operating Office Pacific Simon McGrath sent his congratulations to TEQ for securing the event, telling HM the event will deliver positive outcomes both for Brisbane and regional Queensland.

Marriott International was equally upbeat, with Area Vice President, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, Sean Hunt telling HM: “This is great news for Brisbane which is attracting an increasing number of international events and contributing to a vibrant tourism economy. Marriott International is well placed to accommodate the influx of visitors to the river city with four hotels offering 1,123 rooms across the CBD, including the 299-room Westin Brisbane, opening its doors on 08 November – just in time for the event – and the W Brisbane, which opened in June.

“We would expect to see visitors disperse and visit regions such as the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Fraser Island. Events of this calibre gives us the chance to sell Australia to the world and our hotels will be ready to welcome Socceroos’ and South Korean football fans this November,” Simon McGrath added.