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Sydney festival of light to attract record visitor numbers

The world's largest festival of light is Vivid Sydney and this year it's expected to attract a record number of visitors to Australia.

Not only does it encompass lights but there's also music and collaborative theatre ideas that are set to attract festival-goers and art lovers in their hundreds.

The festival has been running since the weekend (Friday 27th May) and will continue until 18th June this year.

Although the end of May and beginning of June signify the beginning of the summer holiday season for most other parts of the world, these are typically quieter visitor periods in Australia.

As a result, tourism boards have been keen to find something that will entice people to the country and this festival has been instrumental in awakening the season in Sydney.

It has done this by reinforcing Sydney as a hub for the creative industries in the Asia-Pacific region and has seen the city transform into one of the busiest places in the country.

Last year, the festival received such an upturn in tourists that it delivered $63.2 million in visitor expenditure to New South Wales.

Although it had smaller beginnings seven years ago, Vivid Sydney has now established itself as the largest festival of its kind in Australia, having attracted 1.7 million people in 2015.

In 2009, there were just 29 light installations to be found and now, the festival has evolved to a massive 23-day programme that runs through lots of different venues, including Taronga Zoo and the Royal Botanic Gardens.

John O'Sullivan, Tourism Australia's managing director, said: "We know from our research that 43 per cent of international visitors coincide their trip with an event or festival, and the Sydney Vivid Light Festival is currently one of our top three most appealing Australia events."

Visitors from all across the world come to enjoy the spectacle that is Vivid Sydney and last year alone saw 26,000 international tourists come to the harbour city.

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