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Howzat: Brisbane economy ups pace with run of major events

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Brisbane’s enviable run of major events has overcome lockdowns, pandemic restrictions and uncertain economic times to be on track to deliver about $65 million to the local economy, according to Brisbane City Council.

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Last weekend’s NRL Magic Round at Suncorp Stadium alone helped boost Queen St mall foot traffic – a key measure – to record levels for 2021.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said foot traffic in the mall was up by 29 per cent last Friday and 33 per cent last Saturday.

“This weekend showed once again that Brisbane is the home of major events with the NRL Magic Round packing Suncorp Stadium with 130,000 fans, the Brisbane Truck Show welcoming over 30,000 visitors, and the TAB Doomben 10,000 Day attracting 6,000 racegoers,” he said.

He said with The Gabba confirmed as the venue for the first match of Ashes Test Series in early December, the city’s economy would continue a bumper 2021.

Other major events coming up in the second half of the year included the Brisbane Cycling Festival in July, Nitro World Games in October and The Australian PGA Championships in December.

Emporium Hotel South Bank general manager John McIlwain said the impact of major events in Brisbane was extraordinary in terms of bookings for accommodation and the hotel’s bars and restaurants.

“All these events have been the perfect storm, creating a massive uplift across the industry for this weekend where rooms are at a premium and demand spiked as soon as dates were confirmed,” he said.

“The more major events that Brisbane can attract the better it will be for the recovery of the hotel and hospitality industry across the city and regional areas.”

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