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Exclusive: Industry embraces 2021 return of Vivid

Vivid is a visual showcase for Sydney to a global audience.

Sydney’s ultra-popular Vivid Festival of light, music and ideas, has been confirmed to return in August 2021, with the move welcomed by the accommodation and hospitality sector as a catalyst for tourism.

The event, which was cancelled in 2020 owing to the pandemic, has been confirmed to take place amid a highly COVID-safe atmosphere, aimed as an event for locals and potentially visitors from interstate and overseas to be able to enjoy, either in person or digitally.

In 2019, Vivid Sydney generated AUD$172 million in tourism expenditure and was a boon for hotels, restaurants and attractions across the city.

NSW Minister for Jobs, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, said Vivid was an important cultural beacon for Sydney that would hopefully stimulate the visitor economy.

The return of Vivid in August 2021 provides a spark for the future of tourism.

“We’re cautiously optimistic that with a slight delay to regular scheduling, Vivid Sydney will be able to proceed as the bright, dynamic event we all know and love in August next year,” Minister Ayres said.

“We look forward to reigniting that excitement and passion within the artistic community and our supporters and creating tangible opportunities for the tourism industry by driving visitors to Sydney and NSW in a safe way.”

Tourism Accommodation Australia National CEO, Michael Johnson, said the announcement was a ray of light for the sector during dark times.

“From humble beginnings, Vivid has grown to become Australia’s largest festival of its kind and for Sydney’s accommodation hotels it is the second biggest draw card behind New Year’s Eve.

“The festival has been particularly successful in attracting high‐yield conference and incentive groups to Sydney, and historically provides a major stimulus to the hotel sector over a traditionally quiet winter period. Vivid’s return is a great reminder for struggling hotel staff, that things will eventually start to improve.”

L-R Dean Long, AAoA and Michael Johnson, TAA

Accor Pacific Chief Operating Officer, Simon McGrath, said iconic events such as Vivid will help get city centres moving and thriving again.

“Events such as Vivid will stimulate city breaks, creating a much needed resurgence for our beautiful city centres,” he said.

Accommodation Association CEO, Dean Long, also welcomed the return of the dynamic festival.

“While border closures will preclude the 80,000+ international visitors who attended last year, and COVID restrictions might reduce the festival’s total attendance, our member hotels, motels and accommodation providers applaud the news that Vivid will go ahead in 2020,” Long said.

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