Vivid Sydney 2014 draws big tourist numbers

Overseas visitors can't get enough of Vivid Sydney, the country's largest festival of light, music and ideas, and the biggest one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

This year Vivid Sydney attracted a record 1.43 million, an increase of 79 per cent on the 2013 festival which drew 800,000 visitors.

More than 19,500 international visitors came to see the festival on Vivid Sydney travel packages, which is a 74 per cent increase on last year.

According to Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) CEO Ken Morrison, the festival is a major drawcard for the state and efforts by Destination New South Wales to promote it as a "must-see event" has paid off for tourism growth in the state.

Morrison says tourism in New South Wales delivered $26.9 billion in Gross State Product in 2012-13 and supported 257,000 jobs statewide.

The state's tourism sector is working towards a 2020 target of doubling overnight visitor spending in New South Wales to $36.7 billion.

Vivid Sydney 2014 was made up of more than 200 events and included five new precincts – Martin Place, Carriageworks, The University of Sydney, The Star and Sydney Harbour. 

The festival featured 50 free light installations and projections, 80 Vivid Music shows, and 300 speakers at 180 creative industry events.