Visitors and customers

Redfern Street

Redfern Street village is a diverse area that receives different visitation patterns to different parts.

The western half of the village is characterised by the large student presence and the Broadway shopping strip.

Consequently, it receives significant daytime visitation during weekdays from students and shoppers.

In contrast, the eastern half of the village, characterised by trendy cafes, restaurants and vintage stores, tends to receive higher visitation on weekends. 

Visitors are also drawn to the Chippendale arts precinct.

Although there is a supply of visitor accommodation in the vicinity of Central railway station, it is relatively small in the context of the total City of Sydney supply. 

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Visitation patterns

Chart 8 compares and contrasts pedestrian counts on Broadway and Redfern Street, which reveals the different nature of visitation patterns to the western and eastern portions of the village. The highest visitation occurs on weekdays at Broadway, due to the high student population.

As shown in the chart, Broadway receives higher visitation on weekdays than weekends. Visitation during weekdays peaks around midday, and stays relatively high until the early evening, whereas at the weekend it peaks around 5 to 6pm. These patterns can be observed by the proximity of the strip to The University of Sydney and University of Technology, Sydney. The strong student presence drives daytime visitation on weekdays and some students stay around to use the cafés, bars and restaurants in the early evening. The significant retail presence on Broadway, including Broadway shopping centre, also helps drive daytime visitation in this area and this has been further enhanced by the Central Park development.

In contrast, pedestrian traffic on Redfern Street is lower and visitation to this strip is higher on the weekends than it is during the week. On weekdays, peak foot traffic was observed in the morning between 8am and 10am, which is likely to be driven mainly by local residents walking to Redfern railway station to get to work.

On weekends, sustained high traffic was observed between the hours of 11am and 7pm with a peak between 1pm and 2pm. This is probably driven by people visiting the strip for brunch, shopping and dinner at the trendy cafés and shops and also those drawn by the Chippendale arts precinct. During this time foot traffic is likely to still be comprised mostly of locals, however there will probably also be a significant representation of visitors from outside the village.

Chart 8 – Broadway & Redfern Street Pedestrian Counts, October 2013

Chart 8 – Broadway & Redfern Street Pedestrian Counts, October 2013

Visitor accommodation

The 2012 Floor Space and Employment Survey details the supply of visitor accommodation available within Redfern Street village, providing a broad indicator of the capacity of the area to accommodate overnight visitors. This information is summarised in Table 10.

In 2012, there were 1,002 hotel rooms in the village, which represented 5% of the total supply in the City of Sydney. This level of supply grew by a substantial 33.8% between 2007 and 2012, mainly due to the addition of the Mercure Sydney next to Central railway station. Most of the rest of the village’s hotel stock is also located close to Central , which has the advantage of proximity to the city centre and good transport access.

The supply of backpacker beds, which are also focussed around Central railway station, also grew by a significant 22.5% between 2007 and 2012. However in 2012 the 223 beds in the village still only represented 4% of the total supply in the City of Sydney.

Table 10 – Visitor Accommodation, 2012

2007 2012 Change % Change
Hotel Accommodation (Rooms) 749 1,002 253 33.8%
Serviced Apartments (Units) 89 88 -1 -1.1%
Backpacker Accommodation (Beds) 182 223 41 22.5%
Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey, 2012 – City of Sydney

Contribution of tourists

While reliable data on the number of overnight visitors and their economic contribution is not available for areas as small as Redfern Street village, it is worthwhile considering data available for the City of Sydney local area, which gives an idea of the scale of their contribution.

Table 11 shows data from Tourism Research Australia (TRA) on overnight visitors to the City of Sydney in 2013. It shows that interstate visitors have a slightly higher spend per night than intrastate ones ($201 versus $173). While the spend per night for international visitors is significantly lower at $100, their trip duration is much longer, making the overall contribution per trip higher than domestic visitors.

The significant student population centred around Broadway, which includes a number of international students, means that there is likely to be a reasonable amount of visitation from international tourists to the western part of the village.

Table 11 – Overnight Visitor Characteristics, City of Sydney, 2013

Visitors (‘000) Visitor Nights (‘000) Average stay (nights) Average nightly expenditure*
Intrastate 1,462 2,758 1.9 $173
Interstate 2,504 6,176 2.5 $201
International 2,030 30,042 14.8 $100
*Estimates for Metropolitan Sydney in 2012/13
Source: Tourism Research Australia

What does this mean for my business?

Understanding visitation patterns to the village is important for local businesses aiming to cater for certain markets. The student-driven weekday traffic on Broadway will support different business types to the shoppers and diners who visit Redfern Street on weekends.

Analysis of tourist spending data highlights the potential benefits for local businesses in reaching out to this market. While there is limited tourist accommodation in the village it is focused mainly around Central railway station, therefore tourism-related businesses may find it advantageous to locate there.


This information has been compiled from various sources. The publisher and contributors accept no responsibility for any injury, loss or damage arising from the use, error or omissions therein. While all care is taken to ensure a high degree of accuracy, users are invited to notify the City of Sydney of any discrepancies. No part of this information, including maps or data, may be reproduced without written permission.

Last updated: Tuesday, 16 June 2015