International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) has today released its Annual Performance Review revealing delegates attending events at the venue generated $510 million in direct expenditure for New South Wales (NSW), despite the economic fallout from COVID-19 on the 2019/20 financial operating year.
The report shows a year in two parts, with Australia’s premier convention, exhibition and entertainment venue initially on track for another strong economic and operational year in 2019/20. This was cut short by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, with resultant gathering and travel restrictions shutting down all in person events at the venue from mid-March onward.
In the first eight months of 2019/20, ICC Sydney generated A$510 million in delegate expenditure for the State and created 2,806 local jobs, demonstrating the ongoing value of the $1.5 billion development to the local economy and jobs. This was however down by A$386 million from FY2018/19 due to four months of lost operations. In 2018/19, 12 months of events generated A$896 million in delegate expenditure and 5,790 jobs.
Of the A$510 million in expenditure generated in 2019/20, 73% (A$375 million) came from 70,593 international visitors, who also contributed to 981,445 overnight stays in Sydney. This in turn drove continued investment in local hotel refurbishment and development, but was significantly down on 1.77 million overnight stays in the previous year due to gathering and travel restrictions preventing events from mid-March.
The Hon. Rob Stokes, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, said: “With our State and national travel, tourism and events sectors hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, ICC Sydney has contributed positively to the NSW economy by continuing to create jobs and give back to our community. Its reputation as Australia’s undisputed number one hub for conferences, entertainment and exhibitions remains intact.
“In FY2019/20, ICC Sydney events generated $510 million in direct expenditure to NSW and created nearly 3,000 local jobs. Attracting investment and keeping people employed are the key drivers to our economic recovery and ICC Sydney is doing just that.”
ICC Sydney also continued to deliver on its social, environmental and economic commitments to the local community in 2019/20. The venue committed to purchasing 100% NSW wines, supported 135 regional or NSW suppliers, won the global exhibition industry Sustainable Development Award and was named the KARI Foundation Partner of the Year. It also launched initiatives with clients through a world leading Legacy and CSR program.
ICC Sydney was one of the first convention centres globally to rapidly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by developing an industry leading set of protocols – ICC Sydney’s EventSafe Operating Framework – to enable and expedite the safe operating and return of events.