Brisbane the number one destination for international SMEs


Brisbane has knocked Sydney off its perch as the top destination of choice for international small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) travelling to Australia, with more than 24 per cent of bookings into Australia heading to Queensland, rather than any of their interstate rivals.

The statistics released by Corporate Traveller showed that Sydney was the number one arrivals point in the first nine months of 2022 (4 per cent more than Brisbane), but in the same time period in 2023, the Queensland capital has soared to the top of the list, with a 3.8 per cent margin over Sydney.

Melbourne remained in third place in both years and made up the traditional ‘Golden Triangle’. In terms of industries travelling to the Sunshine State capital, manufacturing led the way, followed by services, construction, mining/oil/gas, and education.

“Ever since the Commonwealth Games visited the Gold Coast, investment in Brisbane has taken off exponentially, with more and more major domestic and international businesses choosing to move their operations and HQs to the Sunshine State capital,” said Tom Walley, the Australia-based global managing director of Corporate Traveller.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for Brisbane with the city hosting the Games in 2032, the Queen’s Wharf development not too far away from completion and multiple bridges under construction that’ll boost connectivity across the city, it’s an exciting time on various fronts.

“Even more impressive is the huge year-on-year increase in travel to Brisbane by SMEs, with a jump of over 95 per cent, and that’s no coincidence that this has coincided with the rise of the ‘bleisure’ traveller who clearly wants to take advantage of all that Queensland has to offer while visiting.”

Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff says this latest data is good news for Queensland.

“This is clear evidence that companies globally are viewing Brisbane as a great place to do business, and a wonderful destination to visit,” De Graaff said.

“Travel time from Asia, North America, and South Pacific is shorter to Brisbane than Melbourne and Sydney. And with Australia’s most connected domestic network, it’s easier for people from across the country to gather in Brisbane to meet overseas clients.”