Sydney welcomes plan to expand convention and exhibition space
11 February 2008
Sydney’s key business events body, the Sydney Convention and Visitors Bureau, today welcomed the findings of a new report calling for an expansion of the city’s convention and exhibition facilities.
SCVB Managing Director Jon Hutchison said the report confirmed the urgent need for more convention and exhibition space in Sydney to enable the city to continue to meet strong demand from the international convention sector.
Released by the NSW Government today, the O’Neill Review into Sydney Convention and Exhibition Space calls for an upgrade and expansion of convention and exhibition facilities in the city’s central business district.
It also recommends an expansion of the Sydney Showground facilities, located at Sydney Olympic Park in the city’s west, with domestic exhibitions to be redirected from the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre in central Sydney to the Showground.
“The SCVB has a long and successful record of bidding for and winning congresses and meetings for Sydney. The lead-time for these events can be 6-10 years so a commitment to expand infrastructure will give us the ability to immediately start bidding for and winning more events for our city,” Mr Hutchison said.
“There is no question that Sydney remains one of the most desirable cities in the world for business events, with delegates at international meetings giving high praise to the standard of our facilities and the professionalism of our industry.
“However, while Sydney is Australia’s leading city for business events, constraints on our exhibition space have forced us to turn away some bookings for international conventions with an exhibition component.
“The recommendations of the O’Neill report recognise the need to expand our city’s meeting facilities in order to ensure Sydney continues to maximise economic returns from the meeting sector and maintains its position as Australia’s premier business events destination.
“We look forward to the NSW Government’s response to the report,” he said.
Mr Hutchison said more than 220,000 international visitors would come to Sydney this year to attend 29 events secured with the help of the Sydney Convention and Visitors Bureau. These have a combined economic value of AU$278 million and include events like the Young Presidents’ Organization Global Leadership Congress, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Congress, the World Congress of the Transplantation Society and the 9th World Congress of Metropolis.