New research commissioned by the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors shows that Australia’s night time economy enjoyed a welcome boost during the 2021-2022 financial year, with an increase in sales turnover and night time businesses.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp, Chair of CCCLM and Lord Mayor of Melbourne, introduced the Measuring the Australian Night Time Economy Report, noting encouraging outcomes despite a year marked by partial pandemic restrictions.

The Lord Mayor says that the night time economy plays an essential role in a city’s gross domestic product.

“Our city councils understand the significance of the night time economy in enhancing the vitality and liveability of our cities,” the Lord Mayor says.

“The night time economy is where hospitality, events and accommodation providers really shine, and we are delighted to see Australians continuing to embrace food and entertainment after dark.”

This year’s report outlines the various initiatives aimed at supporting businesses in this sector, as cities adapt to their post-pandemic rhythms.

Highlights from the 2021-2022 NTE report include:

  • The NTE generated $146 billion in sales turnover, marking a 10% increase from the previous financial year and a 5% rise compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2018-2019.
  • The number of businesses operating within the sector increased by 7% compared to the previous financial year, totalling 131,373 businesses. The most significant growth was observed in the Leisure and Entertainment sub-sector, particularly in the Creative and Performing Arts category.
  • The sector’s employment levels did not fully recover to pre-pandemic levels. Employment saw a 1% increase from the previous financial year but remained 6% lower than pre-pandemic levels.

The Lord Mayor says that these results indicate the resilience of the night time economy sector.

“Despite the ongoing external challenges presented by the pandemic, and the new rhythms of people travelling in and out of cities, it’s clear that that night time economies are continuing to thrive,” the Lord Mayor says.

“In 2023, the night time economy around Australia is thriving with unique and exciting businesses continuing to choose capital cities to make the most of the vibrant after dark scenes on offer.”

Additionally, this year’s NTE report introduces an analysis of trading patterns and a mapping of business clustering within cities.

The complete report is available here:

Measuring the Australian NTE 2022 FINAL 201023