And the winner is... Sydney!
The Baird Government will commit an extra $123 million to lure more big ticket events to NSW to secure the State’s reputation as the undisputed home of major events in Australia.
NSW Premier and Minister for Western Sydney Mike Baird and Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism and Major Events Troy Grant today announced the boost to the events budget while attending the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing event at Manly Beach.
The additional $123.35 million represents a 25 per cent budget boost and brings the total tourism and major events budget to more than $643 million. The new money includes:
- An extra $73.25 million to make Sydney the number one destination for major events in Australia, including $22 million for Western Sydney;
- An additional $40.6 million to grow regional tourism; and
- Another $9.5 million to target overseas visitors from our priority international markets.
“We have the track record that shows when we put on a show, we do it well,” Mr Baird said.
“The beauty of our harbour, beaches and national parks is a natural drawcard for visitors. We want to give them even more reason to visit NSW by hosting more big ticket events.
“Since 2011, we have successfully hosted the Major League Baseball Opening Series, friendly matches with football giants Manchester United and Juventus, the British and Irish Lions Rugby Tour, the Sydney International Art Series: Pop to Popism, the first Pop Art exhibition to be showcased in Australia since 1985, and the hugely successful Vivid Sydney.
“More major events will attract more tourists to NSW who will provide a boost to the State economy when they stay at local hotels, eat out at local restaurants and take cabs home.
“It’s estimated the expected tourism boost would increase visitor expenditure by $481 million as the Baird Government works toward doubling visitor expenditure to NSW by 2020.
“The additional funding that will be targeted at Western Sydney will ensure the growing region has the opportunity to host events that will provide a big boost to local businesses.
“We have runs on the board, but we won’t stop until Sydney is the undisputed major events capital of Australia,” Mr Baird said.
Mr Grant said NSW had a proud record delivering quality events and jobs to the tourism and events sector.
“We are proud of the sector’s performance. It’s hoped a lower Australian dollar and lower oil prices will create economic conditions to favour growth and more jobs,” Mr Grant said.
“We are right behind the industry that’s worth more than $33 billion to the NSW economy and is responsible for 158,000 jobs, including 68,000 jobs in regional NSW.
“This will allow us to show off and support the world class tourism destinations in regional NSW, especially the sub-sectors of food, wine, adventure and eco-tourism.”