Sydney’s 18-day festival of light, music, and ideas has smashed previous attendance records out of the park, NSW deputy premier, Andrew Stoner announced this week.

A record 1.43 million people attended Vivid Sydney this year, an increase of 79 per cent compared to 2013.

Mr Stoner said visitors came from across the state, throughout Australia, and from around the world to take part in the event.

“There were more than 19,500 international travellers on Vivid Sydney travel packages, up 74 per cent on 2013, which is fantastic for our tourism industry during what was once a quiet winter period.

“Local retailers also benefited from the bumper attendance numbers, with many operators reporting huge increases in patronage due to Vivid.”

Accor hotels in Sydney’s CBD reported a smashing success over the festival period with an average occupancy rate of 87.1 per cent – a 6.6 per cent total occupancy rate growth year-on-year.

Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour, which has guestrooms with a view of the Harbour Bridge, saw an occupancy rate growth of 6.5 per cent year-on-year, up to 91.3 per cent.

Hotel general manager Wayne Taranto said, “A number of exclusive corporate events were held in ECQ Bar and Q Dining Restaurant was at capacity during Thursday to Saturday of each week.”

“We had illuminated furniture in the F&B outlets and a pop-up bar was even set up to accommodate the overflow. This resulted in a huge 21 per cent growth year-on-year in F&B and overall it was a huge success.”

Harbour Rocks Hotel also saw an 8.4 per cent occupancy rate growth year-on-year, while Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour sustained a 94.1 per cent occupancy rate.

With Vivid Sydney expanding into five new precincts this year –  Martin Place, the University of Sydney, Carriageworks, The Star, and onto the Harbour, with ferries and commercial vessels lit up for the first time – hotels on the fringe of the festival also benefited from the event.

Mr Stoner said all Vivid precincts had proven popular with festival-goers and the illuminated Sydney Opera House sails (by 59 Productions) even drew praise from Jan Utzon, son of Sydney Opera House architect Jorn Utzon.

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