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Leading Sydney attractions and tourism operators collaborate this World Tourism Day to encourage return of visitors

Leading Sydney attractions and tourism operators collaborate this World Tourism Day to encourage return of visitors
September 27, 2020

This World Tourism Day (27th September) some of Sydney’s leading operators in the attractions, hospitality and tourism sectors have united under the banner of ‘Sydney Visitor Collective’ in a bid to encourage visitors back into the practically empty Sydney CBD in time for the September school holidays.

The Sydney Visitor Collective includes some of Sydney’s major attractions and tourism destinations such as Sydney Opera House, BridgeClimb Sydney, Taronga Zoo Sydney and SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, as well as representation from the hospitality and harbour transport sectors.

In a show of solidarity, the Sydney Visitor Collective have collaborated with Destination NSW’s #ilovesydney campaign on in a short video accompanied by the positive #ilovesydney messages - direct from team members themselves – inviting visitors to come back to the CBD and surrounding areas and help support the industry which has been devastated by ongoing closures, capacity restrictions and reduced consumer confidence.

Tourism is vital to Sydney’s economy with 4.1 million international visitors coming into the city in 2019. Destination NSW studies have shown that in 2018-19, the Sydney tourism region accounted for 56% of the state’s gross state product, but in 2020 it is struggling due to extremely challenging trading conditions. This includes the on-going closure of multiple operators, limited marketing funds to create demand and, perhaps most damagingly, concerns about the city being a safe place to visit and travel.

It is also more than apparent that the attractions, hospitality and tourism sector will be challenged throughout 2021 with international borders remaining closed well into next year.

Members of the Sydney Visitor Collective are in communication with the NSW Government to secure a committed and rapid investment in PR and marketing spend in order to position the CBD as a safe destination, with the aim to increase both frequency and increased dwell time of a visit to metro-Sydney. Additionally, Sydney Visitor Collective have requested that departments such as Transport NSW work with the attractions, hospitality and tourism sectors on restoring confidence in travelling to the city via public transport.

Another key priority that the Sydney Visitor Collective would like the NSW Government to address is a possible Tourism Incentive Scheme - such as those in Tasmania and the Northern Territory - to firstly encourage visitation to the City of Sydney area, and then expand the scheme to the entire state.

Merlin Entertainments Divisional Director APAC, Rob Smith advises “We can’t underestimate the importance of working together and speaking with one voice in such unprecedented, challenging times.

“Now is the time to encourage people back into the CBD to help support the businesses that people know and love. Our Harbour city is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and I encourage everyone to explore all that it has to offer. Our venues are operating safely, and we can’t wait to welcome those looking for a day out in the CBD during the school holidays and beyond.”

Australian Tourism Export Council NSW Branch Manager, Holly Vaughan adds “restoring consumer confidence is a collective responsibility for all and we need to work together to help fast-track the recovery of Sydney’s leisure and tourism industry which is fundamental to the economic recovery of the city.

“Sydney is the gateway to Australia, so it’s imperative we act now to reduce the threat of losing both new and iconic businesses. We would love to see a Tourism Incentive Scheme be implemented which would no doubt inject much needed funds directly into the tourism industry and the surrounding visitor economies.”

By uniting as Sydney Visitor Collective, the leaders of Sydney’s attractions, hospitality and tourism sectors hope to have their voices heard by the NSW Government and prompt crucial action that will start revitalising the industry and Sydney’s economy.

Sydneysiders and beyond can show their love and support of their incredible world class city by visiting the CBD and booking a visit to a local attraction, restaurant, café or accommodation these upcoming school holidays and beyond. They are also encouraged to share their favourite Sydney travel images on social media and using the hashtag #ilovesydney.  

Sydney Visitor Collective Confirmed Partners

•             Hammons Holding- BridgeClimb

•             Taronga Zoo Sydney

•             Sydney Opera House

•             Merlin Entertainments

•             Captain Cook Cruises

•             Big Bus Tours

•             TFE Hotels

•             Accor Hotels

•             NRMA Marine Division  (MyFastFerry and Fantasea) and Thrifty Car Rental

•             Trippas White Group

•             Solotel

•             ATEC- Australian Tourism Export Council

Images top: Sydney Visitor Collective campaign; image centre  Hammons Holding- BridgeClimb; Merlin Entertainments SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium; and image above Vibe Hotel, Darling Harbour.

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25th September 2020 - SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium changes rockpool exhibit to reflect local ecosystems

31st July 2020 - Merlin Entertainments Group’s Sydney attractions offer frontline workers free entry in August

10th March 2011 - Merlin completes Sydney Attractions Group purchase

24th September 2020 - Ecotourism Australia implores governments for ongoing support of natural attractions and ecotourism experiences

17th September 2020 - Magic Memories secures $25 million investment to help revive global attractions industry

3rd September 2020 - Queensland Government continues to invest in tourism attractions

21st July 2020 - One in four audience members have returned to cultural attractions and events

14th July 2020 - IAAPA outlines COVID-19 safety protocols for parks and guests as attractions reopen  

6th July 2020 - Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands reopens attractions with enhanced hygiene and safe-distancing protocols

23rd June 2020 - Outback tourism attractions to share in $3 million of funding

4th June 2020 - Merlin Entertainments’ flyer attractions reopen with additional health and safety measures

27th May 2020 - AALARA releases guide for the reopening of Australia’s attractions industry

24th May 2020 - NSW wildlife attractions look to reopen with new safety rules in place

29th April 2020 - AALARA updates members on attractions sector challenges

28th April 2020 - Australian Government announces funding for attractions’ animal welfare costs

19th April 2020 - IAAPA shares insights from industry leaders on how Asia-Pacific Attractions have adapted to COVID-19

15th April 2020 - Embed launches range of online initiatives to engage attractions industry

8th February 2020 - NSW tourism to receive $10 million recovery package

30th July 2019 - NSW Tourism Minister talks of backing for new Sydney theatres

27th September 2020 - Australian Chamber Tourism welcomes regional funding but highlights cities also need support  

27th September 2020 - Tourism Recovery package to inject $250 million into regional Australia

7th April 2018 - Sydney’s Unique Venues Association gets industry relaunch

11th June 2010 - 10 million unique visitors for Sydney’s BridgeClimb

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