Women’s World Cup Ignites Interest in Australia and New Zealand

Skift Take

Australia and New Zealand are sharing hosting duties for the FIFA Women’s World Cup and are hoping this international spotlight will show planners that when it comes to events, it is “play ball.”

The ninth edition of the Women’s World Cup is in full swing and is expected to bring a significant boost to Australia and New Zealand in tourism as well as group interest. 

“This tournament comes at a crucial time, with Australia’s tourism industry steadily rebuilding from the impacts of the global pandemic,” said Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison. Tourism Australia estimates the 35-match tournament to have an economic benefit worth $385 million. 

A billion television viewers are expected to watch the competition unfold, and the nation is predicting 55,000 international visitors. Direct spending by international visitors is predicted to total $169 million over the month-long event.

Leading the pack of international guests are visitors from the United States, followed closely by England, Germany, New Zealand, and the Republic of Ireland, according to Football Australia. 

“The U.S. is particularly interested in women’s football. The women’s team is going for their third consecutive win, which is very exciting. So, you’ll notice an interest in Americans coming down to watch the tournament,” said Vice President of The Americas at Tourism Australia Chris Allison.

All of Sydney’s matches will take place at Accor Stadium in Western Sydney. Stacey McBride, the Accommodation Manager for NSW, stated that the event has resulted in a drastic increase in hotel reservations within the region.

“We are seeing a high number of bookings for accommodation providers located in the vicinity of Olympic Park, and hotel capacity right across Sydney is nearing 70%, reflecting a noticeable surge in demand,” McBride said.

Tourism Australia has estimated that the competition will generate 694,000 bed nights around the country, contributing significantly to the Australian economy.

“We will be running a research project on the back of this campaign and event to help us understand our impact. We’ll then use that to formulate a plan for other major events in the future leading up to the Olympics,” said Allison.

In the coming years, Australia will host the Rugby World Cup, Netball World Cup, Brisbane Olympics, and other international sports tours such as the biannual Ashes Test, Australian Open, and more.

South by Southwest Headed to Sydney

Another type of high-profile event is headed to Sydney this year — South by Southwest. It is the first time this iconic event has branched out of Austin, Texas since its launch in 1987.

It will run from October 15 to 22 with 1,000 events, screenings and performances. 

At least 27,000 visitors are expected to come to Sydney for South by Southwest Sydney’s inaugural gathering. And thousands more within the city itself will experience South by Southwest. The estimated economic impact of those visitors is more than $24 million. “It’s going to be a really strong return economically and important socially for the people in New South Wales,” said Steve Cox, chief executive officer of Destination New South Wales, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency.