Sydney’s CBD visitor numbers at 90% of average 2019 levels: QMS

New data released today by outdoor media company QMS has revealed a strong recovery in the number of people visiting and working in Sydney’s CBD, reaching the highest level since 2019.

New data from QMS’ Q-Data audience and insights platform shows throughout April and May, visitor numbers across Sydney’s CBD were 90% of average 2019 levels, despite the impacts experienced this year from COVID-19 and extreme weather events.

QMS general manager, City of Sydney, Jemma Enright, said: “After two difficult and unpredictable years, it is fantastic to see people returning to the city to work and play.

“Our data shows that 90% of the 2019 Sydney CBD audience has returned, resuming their normal behaviours and activities, including a strong return to workplaces. That figure will keep on growing, as companies continue to collaborate with employees on return to office experiences and the City of Sydney continues its investment in hallmark events and marketing activities that draw people back into the city.

“You can see that people are excited to come back into the city. Events such as Vivid Sydney and the Sydney Film Festival mean audience numbers will keep rising. For example, on the opening weekend of Vivid Sydney, Q-Data showed audiences increased by 18% over the weekend with a further 45% increase between 7pm and midnight,” she said.

QMS chief customer officer, Mark Fairhurst, said: “It’s great to see workforces returning to their CBD offices and even more pleasing to see events like Vivid demonstrate that the heart of Sydney is once again a destination for locals and tourists to come out and play.

“With audience numbers and destination event attendances returning, demand from advertisers for our new digital city of Sydney network is strong and continuing to grow, particularly for the December quarter and into 2023.

“Advertisers are enthusiastic about the innovative digital assets we are creating, the data they can access, and the ease with which they can plan and buy City of Sydney network campaigns. We’re seeing a very high level of interest from advertisers in many categories, including ones that haven’t used digital out of home before across the entire QMS offering,” he said.

“We knew that winning the jewel in the crown of Australia’s out of home industry would be a game changer for the business and we are already starting to see the momentum shift in market as a result of this.”

With more than 20,000 businesses, the city of Sydney local area accounts for $138 billion, or 7%, of Australia’s GDP and is the economic epicentre of Australia. It covers 26 square kilometres, with 10 distinct precincts and 33 suburbs*, and is home to high-income, educated and high-spending prospective customers.

More than half of its 250,000 residents are managers or professionals, 44% have a household income of more than $140,000 a year, and 49% are big spenders on lifestyle products and services.

Sydney city’s population has grown 36% over the past decade, double the rate of Greater Sydney, and the visitation economy is set for a big recovery as it welcomes back the 4.1 million international and domestic visitors who come each year.

In June 2020, QMS was appointed to an exclusive 10-year agreement, plus a further five-year option, to create a premium, reimagined network of street furniture for the City of Sydney. The agreement will see a newly designed suite of bus shelters, communication panels, kiosks, public toilets, seats and bins replace the current furniture, most of which has been in place since 1997.

QMS’ new digital network features bigger, more premium displays, with 90% of the advertising inventory being digital to meet the growing demand for digital outdoor advertising and enhanced data capabilities.

Designed by acclaimed architects, Grimshaw, and built on a philosophy of using sustainable materials and smart technology, the QMS network will include more than 800 panels and deliver to today’s accessibility and inclusivity standards, as well as comply with the City of Sydney’s Sustainable 2030 vision.

* The 33 suburbs are Alexandria, Annandale, Barangaroo, Beaconsfield, Camperdown, Centennial Park, Chippendale, Darlinghurst, Darlington, Dawes Point, Elizabeth Bay, Erskineville, Eveleigh, Forest Lodge, Glebe, Haymarket, Millers Point, Moore Park, Newtown, Paddington, Potts Point, Pyrmont, Redfern, Rosebery, Rushcutters Bay, St Peters, Surry Hills, Sydney, The Rocks, Ultimo, Waterloo, Woolloomooloo and Zetland


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