Sydney is this week hosting a once-in-a-decade global congress that will help to highlight the importance of Australia’s world-class natural assets, according to peak national industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF).
Today marks the first full day of the week-long IUCN World Parks Congress at Sydney Olympic Park.
TTF Chief Executive Officer Margy Osmond said hosting the meeting is a significant honour for Australia.
“The IUCN World Parks Congress is a once-in-a-decade event that is expected to inject an additional $34 million into the New South Wales economy, with more than 5000 delegates coming to Sydney,” Ms Osmond said.
“The IUCN World Parks Congress will help to showcase Australia’s iconic natural destinations, like the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru and the Blue Mountains, which attract millions of visitors each year.
“Australia has a world-class network of national parks and it is critical for governments around the nation to maintain their efforts to preserve this natural heritage and improve the visitor experience.
“TTF is very supportive of moves in some states and territories to invite responsible and sustainable tourism activities and investment in and around national parks.
“Improving our ability to interact with our national parks will enhance the experience for visitors and foster a greater appreciation of the sustainable use of our natural environment.
“Hosting a global event like the IUCN World Parks Congress also reflects well on Sydney and Australia’s reputation as a host for large conferences and conventions, as business events is a vital and growing part of Australia’s tourism industry.
“Business events generate more than $25 billion a year in economic activity and the sector is forecast to be worth $30 billion a year by 2020, so this is an important market segment as Australia works towards the Tourism 2020 target of doubling overnight visitor expenditure to $140 billion.
“Business events visitors are the highest-yielding tourists, with Business Events Sydney research showing every international business events visitor spends $543 per day while interstate delegates spend $342, with conference organisers spending a further $151 per conference day.”