Today’s launch of the ‘COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan’ by the NSW Government will play a significant role in rebuilding business confidence and incentivising event organisers to book their in-person meeting, according to the state’s global bidding specialists BESydney.
The more than $530 million support package includes $6 million for business events, conferences and conventions across Greater Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, as part of a major COVID-19 recovery package designed to encourage people back into the Sydney CBD in particular, and support industry suppliers hard hit by COVID-19 restrictions.
The package also includes an Event Saver Fund to provide immediate support to organisers if events are cancelled or disrupted by any Public Health Orders during the 2021-22 summer, and $60 million for an Aviation Attraction Fund to incentivise international airlines to recommence flights to Sydney.
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the much-needed investment will help revive businesses and bring tourism providers back to their vibrant best.
“This funding recognises the sustained impacts from the pandemic, which severely damaged our tourism industry and put significant strain on businesses and staff.
“For our once thriving business visitor economy to reach its full potential we need caps to be lifted, delegates able to fly in, and staff attracted back to our world-class hospitality and event venues to put on the best of events for which Sydney is well-known.”
BESydney CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith said the funding announcement was a great outcome for Sydney’s business events industry which has the lion’s share of the events market and could therefore have the biggest impact in restarting the economy, as we build back, and gives event organisers another reason why #itsgottobesydney for their next business event.
Ms. Lewis-Smith added: “With restrictions continuing to ease, Sydney is coming back to life and the funding will continue the positive momentum that we are starting to see. People are excited about reconnecting with friends and family and the prospect of travel as borders open. We can’t wait to see that same confidence now flow through to business and to welcome our national and global business delegates back here soon.”
Meanwhile BESydney is still winning domestic and international meetings and the forward pipeline of confirmed business is very strong, with a bid win tally at 24 year-to-date, and 98 events secured through to 2029 with a combined estimated direct expenditure of $524 million.
The funding package announcement continues BESydney’s industry support initiatives, alongside the ‘It’s got to be Sydney’ campaign which launched last year to drive domestic business whilst international borders were closed, and to provide a suite of resources on meetinsydney.com.au for decision-makers and event planners when booking in Sydney.
BESydney will administer the funding program in conjunction with Destination NSW, on behalf of the NSW Government. Matched funding will be available by application in rounds, commencing in late November 2021. Events eligible for funding are conferences, conventions, symposia, congresses, seminars, training courses, trade exhibitions attracting a minimum of 100 delegates to a venue for a gathering of at least one day’s duration. Further details will be published at meetinsydney.com.au/offers.