NSW government wants Sydney as events capital.

The Baird government is committed to doubling overnight visitor expenditure by the year 2020 to make Sydney the number one destination for major events.

“We will commit an additional $123.35 million to secure more major events and boost visitor expenditure by an estimated $481 million,” the government promised in a statement released today. “This additional $123.35 million represents a 25% budget boost and brings our total tourism and major events spend to over $643 million over four years.”

It includes:
• $73.25 million more to make Sydney the number one destination for major events, including $22 million for more events in Western Sydney;
• $40.6 million more to grow regional tourism; and,
• $9.5 million more to target overseas visitors from our priority international markets.

This comprehensive package will allow NSW to competitively bid for events that may include:
• National Basketball match
• Major League Baseball opening series match
• 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers
• Opera in the Blue Mountains
• An action sports event such as the X Games
• Award winning musicals such as Book of Mormon, Beautiful and Kinky Boots
• Extending Vivid Sydney Festival by another week
• New event(s) in July and August to boost visitor numbers in the quieter Winter months, which may include:

  • Wild Feast Sydney – a food festival celebrating local ingredients;
  • The Sydney Luxury & Fashion Festival; or,
  • A major sports or cultural festival that will attract overseas and interstate visitors

• Touring exhibitions from major museums in Europe, including works from major artists such as Monet, Rembrandt and Turner
• Events in regional NSW that support the sub-sectors of food, wine, adventure and eco-tourism
• Conferences in regional NSW
• Cycling events in regional NSW
• Business conventions for Western Sydney and the new International Convention, Exhibitions and Entertainment Centre

The announcement today by the NSW government is recognition of the power of tourism to grow jobs and income for the state, says Tourism Accommodation Australia.

“It has taken a long time for governments to understand the substantial impact that events, conferences and exhibitions can deliver to the economy,” said TAA acting CEO, Carol Giuseppi. “The impact of the recent Asian Football Cup on cities such as Sydney and Newcastle was substantial, while the latest research from Tourism Research Australia shows that business events visitors make the highest contribution to overnight visitor expenditure.

“The NSW Government demonstrated their commitment to the tourism sector emphatically with the decision to rebuild Sydney’s convention and exhibition centre, and they will now support that with extra funds to bid for substantial tourist, sporting and business events. The new investment will particularly benefit Western Sydney, which now has world-class venues and new or expanded hotels to support the hosting of conferences and events.

“We are encouraged by the commitment to attract more events and conferences to regional NSW, because while Sydney’s hotel and tourism venues have performed strongly in recent years, many areas in regional NSW are in need of considerable stimulus.”

Accor chief operating officer, Simon McGrath has come out in support of the Baird government’s tourism and major events pre-election policy to double overnight visitor expenditure by the year 2020 and make Sydney the number one destination for major events.

Mr McGrath has welcomed the pledge for an additional $123.35 million to secure more major events in a bid to bolster visitor expenditure in NSW by an estimated $481 million. He said it will give Sydney the competitive edge over other state capitals and major event cities in Asia Pacific.

“Pleasingly the Baird government understands that tourism has moved into the top three of economic contributors in most countries worldwide, and this is further supported by the 2013 Deloitte Report – ‘Positioning for prosperity? Catching the next wave’ stating that tourism is among the top five super-growth industries in Australia,” said Mr McGrath. “The Baird government has cleverly shown that tourism continues to be a priority for the state and that there is a clear vision to significantly deliver more economic and employment benefits for the region.
“Events are no longer optional extras in tourism, in fact they are the number one way to stimulate a dynamic tourism market. The momentum in Sydney now is impressive and competitive on an international scale, so with the commitments from the Baird government and Destination NSW it is sure to underpin a decade ahead of strong tourism growth.

“Sydney is now well placed to far exceed major event activities in any of the other states and subsequently will lead the growth and possibly even take market share.”

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