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According to Australian CEO and Mayor - Night Life Helping Australian Economy

(EMAILWIRE.COM, November 10, 2011 ) Sydney, Australia - In Australia, when the sun goes down, the wallets come out.

While most people associate the words “night life” with loud music and drinking in nightclubs, in Australia it means much more than that. According to Australia’s ABC News, workers are leaving the office and heading to the area’s restaurants and bars, adding an estimated $15 billion per year to the economy.

The spending isn’t solely on alcohol, the report, which was commissioned by the Sydney Council, reveals patrons are spending five times more on food and entertainment than alcohol. Ben King, managing director, chalks it up to workers keeping later and later hours.

Citing a growing demand for workers to shop late, dine late, and even have museums and art galleries open late, Lord Mayor Clover Moore of Sydney says citizens want excitement after hours. “One of the key findings in this work was that people want a greater diversity of opportunity in a night time economy,” Moore says. “And they particularly want to be able to shop late.” Moore specifically mentioned families as a target market.

The city of Melbourne is promoting its Melbourne Comedy Festival in the hopes of routing some of that nighttime business its way. Numerous small bars and venues are opening in Perth, as well, providing alternatives to traditional nighttime entertainment arenas that Perth CEO Frank Edwards says are more sophisticated.

“Ten years ago if you walked down St. George’s Terrace after hours, everything was locked up,” Edwards says. “Now if you walk down St. George’s Terrace at six o’clock at night, you will find quite a number of places that are humming with the sort of after-hours business activity that you would expect.”

The boom is being attributed in part to mining. The mining boom that has pumped money into Australia’s economy for the past decade has also brought more workers into the eastern seaboard. These workers, experts say, are sticking around after work to drink, eat, and enjoy everything the big cities have to offer.

According to ABC Sydney, the additional cost to cities of keeping night life going is only $120 million per year, which accounts for additional emergency medical services and police staff. This is a small portion of the $15 billion of the money being brought in.

In addition to the money Australian night life brings in, the report also revealed that 28.4 percent of all jobs in Sydney came from nightlife-related businesses. However, retail establishments have yet to take advantage of the boom, despite the fact that many citizens expressed an interest in being able to shop after dark. The report revealed almost no retail presence in Sydney nightlife.

Like many big cities across the world, Sydney has found that providing residents the opportunity to stay in the city and dine, drink, and be entertained causes them to stay long after the workday is over. This is creating an industry where one did not exist before, bringing valuable dollars into the city that might otherwise have been spread throughout the outerlying cities, where the workers reside.

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