Skift Take

The phenomenal impact of the 'Swift Lift' is being seen by travel and tourism companies around the world - even when Taylor isn’t visiting the city in question.

If you were in any doubt about Taylor Swift’s influence on global travel trends, look no further than Brisbane.

The Australian city is hundreds of miles north of Sydney, where the nearest Eras Tour show is being held, but the ‘Swift Lift’ is still exceptionally strong. 

New data from Brisbane Airport suggests an extra 64 passenger flights are scheduled over the coming days to cope with the incredible demand. These will shuttle fans from the city to Sydney and Melbourne where the singer-songwriter is performing seven sold-out performances. 

Alongside extra point-to-point traffic, the airport is gearing up for a high number of transit passengers from regional centers such as Cairns, Mackay and Rockhampton. These travelers will use Brisbane to connect to onward flights.

More than 25,000 additional domestic passengers are expected at Brisbane Airport alone, representing a 5% increase compared to regular traffic levels. The surge can clearly be seen in bookings between February 15 and 19 for the Melbourne dates, and between February 22 and 27 for the Sydney shows. 

As the world knows by now, Swift herself is no stranger to traveling in luxury. So it’s fitting that the airport has also reported a spike in demand for private jets. 

‘The Eras Tour Effect’

Speaking to Skift, Peter Doherty, spokesperson for Brisbane Airport, said that while the facility is familiar with big events, ‘The Eras Tour effect’ is unmatched: “Taylor Swift’s impact is unique by virtue of the fact she is not playing in Brisbane, prompting thousands of fans to book flights to fly to Melbourne and Sydney for concerts there.”

Offering extra insight into travel trends, Doherty said that the majority of flight bookings were made as soon as fans secured show tickets last year. These early reservations provided valuable visibility to industry stakeholders to help prepare for the rush. 

The Eras Tour is a sprawling, five-continent, 150+ show extravaganza. It began in March 2023 and has Swift crisscrossing the globe in 2024.

Researchers estimate that the tour could generate approximately $5 billion for the U.S. economy alone, with each concert-goer spending about $1,300 per show on hotels, outfits, and other merchandise. “If Taylor Swift were an economy, she’d be bigger than 50 countries,” said Dan Fleetwood, President of analytics firm QuestionPro.

Local Economic Benefits

It isn’t just traditional hotels seeing the uplift either. As Skift has previously reported, The Eras Tour is proving lucrative for the short-term rental sector. The 20 U.S. cities that hosted earlier show dates saw revenue per available room go up by 28% on average and occupancy rise by 12%.

And while Swift’s fan base is legendary, it seems Australia’s love of sport pips the popstar – at least when it comes to Brisbane Airport passenger numbers. 

Doherty confirmed that the forecast traffic this week is huge, but it won’t quite reach the scale witnessed during Grand Final weekend in 2023. This saw local teams reach both the Australian Football League and National Rugby League final – a relatively rare double whammy.

“Those events drew massive crowds, with thousands of fans mobilizing to fly to Sydney and Melbourne to support Brisbane teams,” added Doherty.

If Swift’s impact on the U.S. Super Bowl is anything to go by, perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise that she hasn’t made her mark on Australian sporting calendar just yet.


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Tags: airports, australia, brisbane, taylor swift, tourism australia

Photo credit: Brisbane Airport Brisbane Airport / Brisbane Airport

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