Vivid Sydney drew a record 2.58 million people to the city during the 2022 event (May 26 to June 17), with data showing total visitor numbers were up 7.5% on 2019 figures.   

The lights festival provided a major boost to hotel and accommodation business around the city with data from hospitality analytics firm STR showing RevPAR for Sydney hotels during the last week of May was up 65.5% on the same week in May 2021.

Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) reported that occupancy rates peaked at close to 83% on May 28, 2022 – the Saturday of the opening weekend.

“Destination NSW should be congratulated for staging an event which is giving the struggling tourism accommodation sector such a boost in the quiet winter months,” said TAA CEO Michael Johnson.

More than 100,000 Vivid Sydney 2022 travel packages were sold during the event, according to Destination NSW.

Australian Hotels Association NSW CEO, John Whelan, highlighted the importance of major city events in drawing visitors.  

“Large events in the CBD like Vivid Sydney bring foot traffic and much needed revenue into city hotels which have suffered badly during the last two years,” Whelan said.

The 2022 festival drew its largest-ever opening night crowd, with over 140,000 attendees, and had 440,000 attendees for its biggest opening weekend.

Over the June long weekend, 636,000 people visited Sydney’s CBD to enjoy the event.

The additional visitors also boosted Sydney’s night-time economy, according to Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade, Minister for Tourism and Sport and Minister for Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres.

“Vivid Sydney 2022 put our city’s vibrant culture in the spotlight and drew millions of patrons to live music venues, restaurants, bars and hotels,” Ayres said.

“2.1 million visitors enjoyed a sit-down or take-away meal at the festival, with people dining in restaurants up 24 per cent on 2019. That’s a phenomenal result that confirms the NSW Government’s efforts to energise the 24-hour economy and revitalise the CBD are working.”