Swift fever brings flood of visitors to NSW

Sydney hotels are already 84% full for The Eras Tour long weekend, Janie Medbury reports.

THE countdown for pop sensation Taylor Swift’s arrival into Australia is officially on, with more than 100,000 visitors from across the country and around the world set to make their way to Sydney for the Blank Space singer’s Eras Tour, with four back-to-back concerts taking place over 23-26 February.

The Swiftie deluge is expected to pump more than $80 million into the state’s economy, according to Destination NSW, and Sydney is certainly ready to embrace the hype, with a series of themed events and activations organised across the city this month including after-parties, high teas, trivia nights, tribute concerts, and more.

Accommodation Australia CEO Michael Johnson said “2023 was the biggest February hotels have seen in years and Taylor has topped it. Major events like these are a boon for hotels and a huge boost for the visitor economy. Whatever you think of her music, everyone in NSW should be thanking her for coming.”

Ovolo Hotels is one of many accommodation operators enjoying the Eras visitor surge, with Marketing Manager Toby Franklin sharing, “we have never witnessed such a surge in demand at Ovolo Hotels during this period, particularly attributed to a single artist”.

Destination NSW has embraced the fanfare by publishing The Ultimate Swiftie Guide to Sydney on its consumer website, The guide features suggestions on where to eat and drink, plus advice on the best ways to enjoy the city, Swiftie-style, during The Eras Tour – see it HERE.

The sensation stirred by Swift is symptomatic of a larger trend dubbed “tour tourism”, which Expedia Group says is sweeping the globe. Its latest research shows that 70% of respondents are more likely than ever to travel to attend a concert, while 44% would travel to take in a concert as an excuse to visit a new destination.

“In 2024 we expect gig-getaways to boom further,” Expedia Group Director of Music Partnerships Liseli Sitali said. “Music lovers will be travelling farther, turning their gig night into a long weekend, and be on the lookout for affordable alternative destinations to go and watch live music.”

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