The City of Sydney has helped secure 10 international conferences, providing a $42 million boost for the local economy while work to redevelop Darling Harbour’s exhibition and convention centre continues.
The City pledged $1.5 million over three years to Business Events Sydney (BESydney) to help it attract major events throughout the three year demolition and reconstruction job. The events mean more visitors who stay in local hotels, dine out and attend other attractions during their stay.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said helping secure major business events was vital for the health of the City’s economy.
“Our investment through Business Events Sydney demonstrates our commitment to growing Sydney businesses. It has directly contributed to attracting more people to our city, growing our profile as a world-class destination at a time when international competition for large business events is getting stronger,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Ensuring that Sydney remains a destination of choice for business travel has huge benefits for the hospitality and tourism sectors right across our local government area.”
BES Chief Executive Lyn Lewis-Smith said the City’s expertise had helped secure more than 11,000 national and international delegates for big conferences between 2014 and 2017, such as the World Business Forum and meetings of LG and Amway Taiwan staff.
“The City of Sydney’s support has been a wonderful boost to our efforts to drive business to the city over the next few years,” said Ms Lewis-Smith.
“In the past 12 months, the City’s funding has directly helped us secure 10 international events for the coming years that will contribute over $42 million in economic benefit to the city.
“In addition to its financial support, the City has also played an active role in the bidding and delivery stages of a number of key events, including the 105th Rotary International Convention, which welcomed over 19,000 people to Sydney from around the world in June.”
BES pitches for about 100 international business events each year. It also relies on support from the City’s representatives and services to leave a lasting impression among visitors.
“From customised signage to the Lord Mayor’s presence at welcome events, the City’s support has helped to ensure that the international visitors we attract to Sydney have an outstanding experience,” Ms Lyn Lewis-Smith said.
“Our visitors are our unofficial ambassadors, so it’s vital we make sure their time in the city is worth talking about.
In the 2012-13 financial year, Business Events Sydney helped secure 73 international events that generated a $113 million financial boost for the city.
During the same period, 86 events it secured brought about $176 million to the local economy.
Following those successes was the recent announcement that Sydney would host Sibos, the annual meeting of international financiers, in 2018 at the new Darling Harbour exhibition and convention centre now under construction.
The event is expected to attract about 6,000 finance executives in a $50 million boost for local businesses.