Weekday visitors to major urban centers are helping to revive business as workers continue to stay away from CBD offices.
All of the nation’s largest cities saw peak overnight visitors during the week surpass pre-pandemic levels, while some state capitals are also seeing new highs in weekend travel.
Research by DSpark for the Tourism and Transport Forum found peak weekday footfall in Sydney was 16 per cent higher than pre-Covid levels, while weekend footfall was up one per cent.
In Melbourne, the weekday evening peak was 11 per cent higher, although weekend attendance was still slightly lower than before the pandemic.
These figures come despite the fact that the CBD workforce is only 52 per cent and 56 per cent of pre-COVID levels in Sydney and Melbourne respectively.
Forum executive director Margie Osmond said the arts and entertainment industries were to thank for the increase in attendance.
“We’re seeing a nationwide trend of more people wanting to get out into the city on weekdays and weekends, whether it’s to go to a show or attend one of the major events across the country,” she said.
DSpark analyzed data on the mobility of millions of people in cities, finding that in every major city, the number of CBD workers remained well below pre-pandemic levels as people continued to work from home.
Perth had the highest proportion of workers returning to the office, with city staffing levels at 71 per cent of pre-COVID levels. It is followed by Adelaide at 68 per cent and Brisbane at 59 per cent.
Ms Osmond said the proportion of people working from home – particularly in Sydney and Melbourne – was hurting inner-city businesses and people should be encouraged to work during the week.