After a thrilling month of matches leading to the grand showdown on August 20 between Spain and England, the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup has now finally arrived at its much-anticipated close.
The hugely successful 2023 Women’s World Cup set new benchmarks for the sport both on and off the field, arguably pushing the visibility of women’s soccer forward and raising awareness of gender inequality in sports.
However, the momentous impact of the Cup has reached even further beyond the sports industry, and into hospitality and tourism.
During the month of games, soccer fans flocked from all over the world to visit stadiums in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington, with ticket sales breaking a 1.5m record before the Cup had even begun.
As matches progressed fans got even more involved, fuelling an additional boost in tourism numbers. According to Google data, searches for “flights to Australia” exploded by 179% in the UK after the Lionesses beat Australia to qualify for the final.
Now, many hotel and hospitality businesses servicing these stadium destinations are recording a massive surge in consumer demand during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup period.
Australian hotels recording a boost in occupancy during matches
According to Accommodation Australia, NSW hotels in the Sydney Olympic Park area close to Stadium Australia (Accor Stadium), the site of Matildas' opening match, recorded a high occupancy rate of close to 70% during the Cup.
Brisbane hotels also recorded a significant surge in demand during the FIFA Women’s World Cup matches. On 22 July, the city’s first match between England and Haiti drove 90% hotel occupancy and an Average Daily Rate (ADR) of $306. Six days later, the next Brisbane match between Australia and Nigeria attracted even more fans, with 91% occupancy and an ADR of $270.
After several years of pandemic losses, the boom in hospitality demand as a result of the Cup is very welcome among operators. Overall, the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 is expected to bring a $460 million boost to the Australian economy.
Sports and hospitality: Two interconnected industries
Although many aspects of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup may have been record-breaking and unprecedented, the relationship between the sports and hospitality industries goes back a long way.
Cross-industry partnerships and official sponsorship deals also go a long way in bringing the two industries together for mutual benefit.
This year, the industry also witnessed the beginning of a new hospitality partnership between FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 and Booking.com, who became an official sponsor before the Cup commenced.
The host of the next FIFA Women’s World Cup 2027 is yet to be announced, but one thing’s for certain: wherever it lands, the hospitality industry can expect consumer demand to soar.