City of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas said the data proved that the City is the place to be at Christmas and throughout the summer season.
“This Christmas we welcomed thousands of people to the City who spent more than ever before, with December 2023 the highest monthly spend on record ever,” Mr Zempilas said.
“At $400 million, this season saw a whopping increase of 19.1 per cent over December last year, proving once again that Christmas lives here in the City, not just for our visitors but also for our retailers and businesses.”
December 2023 saw the City roar back to pre-COVID levels for foot traffic, smashing the same month last year with an average of 25 per cent more visitors making the most of the City’s festive offerings across the period. The key stats compared with December 2022 include:

  • 19.1 per cent increase in spend taking the total to $400M
  • 1M+ visitors to the City
  • 18.5 per cent increase in visitors to the Rio Tinto Christmas Lights Trail
  • 30 per cent increase in visitors at the Elizabeth Quay Fun Fair
  • 49 per cent increase in attendance for the New Years Eve Light Show presented by Roy Hill
  • 5.5 per cent increase in hotel occupancy

“People heard the call loud and clear that Christmas lives here, in the City of Perth. A key example was our glittering Rio Tinto Christmas Lights Trail which shone brighter than ever before, seeing almost 460,000 people visiting the installations. This is up almost 19 per cent on last year.”
Hotel data also showed year-on-year occupancy was up by 5.5 per cent, indicating that activation, retail and sporting initiatives worked together to drive outstanding spend and visit outcomes.
“Behind these figures is the story of a well-oiled machine that marketed and made our City the place to be this Christmas. We saw the fruit of these efforts in the packed malls and streets each and every weekend,” Mr Zempilas said.
“The Elizabeth Quay Fun Fair attracted more than 120,000 people across the season, up 30 per cent on last year. New Year’s Eve couldn’t have been more packed, with attendance at Elizabeth Quay up 50 per cent. Carols in the City was also our biggest singular evening event of the year at the Supreme Court Gardens.
“People flocked to the city for entertainment and sports with more than 50,000 heading to RAC Arena. Our free festive offerings were a clear hit, such as our City of Light Shows, proudly supported by Lotterywest and Roy Hill, and forever family favourites like the Alinta Christmas Pageant that saw more than 45,000 people pack out St Georges Terrace.”
The packed summer events schedule continues in the City in coming weeks, starting with FRINGE World from 19 January to 18 February.
“From FRINGE WORLD, to the Australia Day City of Light Show proudly supported by Hancock Prospecting, and on to Perth Festival and much, much more in February, the City continues to be the place to be this summer. You name it, we’ve got it, right here in the City of Light,” Mr Zempilas said.

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Media contact: Kelly Eadie | 0438 186 896