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 February 18, 2014
Sydney, Australia Is Open For Business; $200 Million of Business Events In 2014

 2014 is a strong year for business events in Sydney with close to 53,000 delegates expected to spend over 230,000 days in the city delivering an economic impact (EI) of close to $200 million to the New South Wales (NSW) economy.

These events will take place across Australia's leading business events destination's¹ diverse and flexible event spaces. Construction has started on the new International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), and the city's venues are pulling out the stops to ensure that clients are aware of the broad range of options that are still available.

BESydney CEO, Lyn Lewis-Smith said, "New South Wales welcomes around 50% of the 890,000² international business visitors to Australia each year. And of these total arrivals, conference and convention arrivals account for about 20% of visitors. These are big numbers with big impact: the events that BESydney secures for NSW deliver visitor economy benefits well beyond the conference days with valuable pre and post touring, and knowledge economy benefits that are far reaching, influencing our current and future business and educational leaders, and of course our global reputation."

"This year, Sydney is certainly open for business even though we don't have a convention centre for the next three years. The pipeline of secured events is strong and we are still seeing bid wins for short term Asian business that will continue to grow the event pool. The benefits from all of these meetings, incentives and conferences will be great."

"You only have to look at the events of all sizes that we are hosting this year -- from 18,000 people to just a few hundred -- to see that our venues are continuing to accommodate conferences, meetings and incentives in Sydney's exceptional manner."

Some 2014 highlight events secured by BESydney include:

- 105th Rotary International Convention for 18,000 delegates with an EI of almost $64 million
- Pro-Health China Annual Conference for 4,500 delegates with an EI of $22 million
- International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) World Parks Congress for 3,000 delegates with an EI of $24 million
- LG Group Long Service Staff Reward for 1,400 delegates with an EI of $7 million.

"Rotary is one of the world's largest annual international business events and will inject close to $64 million into the local economy during the four official convention days in June, making it one of the largest business events ever mounted in Australia," says Ms Lewis-Smith.

"We are also hosting the IUCN World Parks Congress at Sydney Olympic Park. This is a once-in-a-decade opportunity. It's a real privilege to welcome these delegates to Australia's global city and to showcase NSW's outstanding parks and protected areas.

"The city has come together like never before to provide collaborative solutions for events. We have strong support from our major investor the NSW Government, City of Sydney -- which is investing $1.5 million over 2014-16 to help secure business for the city, and of course the events industry and beyond. Our network is broader and deeper than ever."

"There will be challenges over the next few years while developments (in particular the new convention centre) are completed, but the results at the end of 2016 -- Australia's largest fully integrated convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct -- will be worth it. Sydney is never afraid to reinvent itself and challenge tradition. We are welcoming a new era for the harbour city with infrastructure developments underway that will keep us at the top of innovation, creativity and exceptional event experiences," concluded Lyn Lewis-Smith.

ICC Sydney, Darling Harbour

Due to open in late 2016, the new ICC Sydney will be one of the jewels in the city's transformation and will cement Sydney's status as one of the world's leading business event destinations. Set amongst hectares of parkland with links to the city's innovation hubs and cultural precincts, it will feature Sydney's largest ballroom catering for up to 2,000 people and a diverse array of flexible spaces, all within a five-minute walk to the city centre. The development will also include a new premium hotel with up to 650 rooms.

Four Points by Sheraton, Darling Harbour

Already Australia's largest hotel, with over 680 guest rooms, Four Points by Sheraton Darling Harbour has released its plans for $160 million redevelopment that will complement the revitalisation of Darling Harbour as a dynamic convention precinct. Set to commence in early 2014, the hotel expansion will include a third tower featuring an additional 230 rooms, over 4,800m2 of pillar-less convention, exhibition and function space, and boutique office space overlooking Darling Harbour. Once complete in 2016, the hotel will boast a 900-room capacity in the heart of Sydney.

Barangaroo, Sydney CBD

Barangaroo is an ambitious urban renewal project that is currently underway. The development will transform a former harbour-side container port into a vital $6 billion extension of the central business district. It will include a new iconic landscaped Headland Park, spectacular public waterfront walks, parks, shops, cafes and restaurants and commercial office towers, as well as proposed new event spaces and a world-class hotel.

University of Technology Gehry Building

UTS has commenced a multimillion dollar expansion of its campus, including the redevelopment of its business school that will be housed in a new Sydney landmark -- the new Frank Gehry building. Within a 2 km radius of this campus, there are 100,000 students and 80 per cent of Sydney's creative industries. The UTS campus is on the doorstep of the Darling Harbour Live development. Expected completion: August 2014.

The Pavilion, Darling Harbour

The soon-to-be-opened Dockside Pavilion Darling Harbour is a custom-designed event venue that sits proudly on an anchored floating pontoon in the heart of the harbour city. Accommodating up to 2,000 guests, the venue boasts impressive water and city views, Dockside Group's famous hospitality, world-class event expertise and delicious cuisine options.

Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park

Sydney Showground is a not-for-profit organisation located in the heart of Sydney metropolitan area and is within walking distance to 900 hotel rooms and over 30 restaurants. Its event capabilities are being further enhanced with the expansion of the Southee Complex. The new, purpose-built pavilion, due for completion in March 2014, will be suitable for large-scale and multi-use events and offers over 11,000m2 that can cater for approximately 9,300 visitors.

¹ International Congress and Convention Association's (ICCA) Country and City Rankings Report 2012 and the Union of International Association's (UIA) City Rankings 2012

² Australian Bureau of Statistics' International Visitor Survey - year ending 30 June 2013