SYDNEY The city's new 20-hectare business events precinct, which has a working title of "Darling Harbour Live", will feature an innovative fan-shaped layout.
The new precinct will include the International Convention Cenre Sydney (ICC Sydney), a red-carpet entertainment venue, a hotel complex of up to 900 rooms as well as the innovative upgrade of the public domain.
Destination Sydney, a consortium comprising AEG Ogden, Lend Lease, Capella Capital and Spotless Facilities Services, has been chosen by the New South Wales Government as the preferred developer of Darling Harbour Live that is set to open in 2016.
Venue manager AEG Ogden will be the operator of the A$1.1 billion (US$1.159 billion) ICC Sydney.
Lyn Lewis-Smith, chief executive of Business Events Sydney (BESydney), welcomed the news providing more details on the planned development of Darling Harbour.
"Sydney needs an iconic, contemporary and versatile meetings precinct befit of Australia's global city," she said. "What's been revealed delivered all this and more."
She added that the innovation hub in the heart of Sydney will create opportunities to host more international events that will help to drive the city's knowledge economy.
"The new precinct will ensure Sydney maintains its leading position as Australia's premier business events destinaton, driving value for both NSW visitor and knowledge economies. Furthermore, it will be a hive of residential, retail, leisure spaces and more. It will connect our educational, creative and multicultural precincts."
"It will have the character, dynamism and energy that Sydney is renowned for," Lewis-Smith pointed out.
Even with the planned three-year Darling Harbour development that will see the city without its largest convention faciltiy during the entire duration of the project , BESydney has continued to secure business events to be held in the city.
As of December 10, 2012, the convention bureau has secured 107 conferences, congress and incetive programmes that will see over 432,420 delegate days spent in the harbour city from 2012 to 2018. Worth an estimated A$353.5 million (US$372,483 million) to the NSW economy, the strong pipeline of business is a clear sign that Sydney remains a strong player in the global business events market.
Meanwhile, the City of Sydney recently announced a further A$1.5 million (US$1.58 million) investment to promote Sydney as a world-class conference city. It will invest A$500,000 (US$526,850) a year over the next three years in BESydney to assist in stimulating and supporting business events in the city.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said providing financial backing for buisness events was vital for the health of the city's economy, and Sydney had world-class venues and workers.
"The international market for business events is increasingly competitive, with more cities than ever vying to secure these valuable events, so it's essential thatwe help promote Sydney to the world," he added.