Sydney hotels are welcoming locals and visitors alike as the city lights up for the 13th edition of Vivid.

The annual festival of light, music and food kicks off on Friday May 26 and will run through to June 17.

Accor Pacific CEO Sarah Derry said the festival presents a great opportunity for hotels across the city.

“The impact of Vivid Sydney 2023 is significant and we are experiencing increased demand for our city centre and suburban hotels,” Derry told HM exclusively.

“Events and attractions draw people into cities and it’s great for our industry. Our teams are ready to provide guests with the excellent service Accor is known for.”

Hilton Area Vice President and Head of Australasia, Paul Hutton, said the festival brings a welcome boost to hotel occupancy in the city during the winter season.

“Hilton’s Sydney hotels started off the Vivid weekend with strong occupancies and rate, driven by leisure demand,” Hutton said.

“A much-needed boost for the winter months, Vivid is a great opportunity to showcase Sydney. Our expectation is that last minute demand will continue to build over the next few weeks.”

Michael Johnson, CEO of Tourism Accommodation Australia and Interim CEO of Accommodation Association said Vivid has evolved greatly over the years to become a “demand driver” for hotels.

“Today, it’s a great demand driver for hotels,” he told HM. “They do such a fantastic job.”

This year, Johnson explained, while there is demand for weekend bookings, occupancy during the week is softer than expected.

“Bookings for the weekends are looking steady but probably not as busy midweek as what we had last year,” he said.

“There’s a great programme for Vivid this year, including Vivid Food, so we’re sure we’ll get plenty of last-minute bookings as well.”

Marriott International Area Vice President for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific, Sean Hunt, echoed this sentiment.

“The hotels are seeing good demand for the Vivid weekends and in particular Saturday nights,” he told HM.

“Demand is certainly softer than last year however it would potentially be softer without this NSW initiative.”

At InterContinental Sydney, however, the team is reporting strong occupancy across the board. The luxury 5-star hotel is participating as a Vivid Food partner in this year’s festival.

“We are seeing strong occupancy not just at the weekends but right across the three weeks, due in no small part to the hotel’s spectacular location and unrivalled 270-degree views from our recently refurbished Aster rooftop bar,” said General Manager, Jennifer Brown.

“The festival has so many exciting new activations and is spread right across the city this year, it’s great to see people coming into Sydney city for several nights to ensure that have the opportunity to explore the many events and activations being showcased this year.”

There are more than 300 events planned across the city for the duration of the festival including 67 gigs and concerts at 14 venues.

Minister for Jobs and Tourism, John Graham, said the event will bring a welcome boost to the local economy.

“The bright lights of Vivid Sydney will once again transform our city, mesmerise, delight and inspire, and I encourage both visitors and Sydneysiders alike to take part in this year’s festival,” he said.

“Since its inception in 2009, Vivid Sydney has showcased the vibrancy, buzzing nightlife and diverse creative talents of Sydney on the global stage and supercharged our visitor economy around experience tourism.”