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ICC Sydney behind upswing in Australian business tourism

Australia's business tourism is set to receive a boost from the imminent opening of the International Convention Centre at Darling Harbour in Sydney. 

Work on the new site is almost complete - and it offers the capacity to host some of the most significant conventions and events in the world at its location in Sydney. 

New South Wales minister for trade, tourism and major events Stuart Ayres told the Australian Financial Review that the state had already managed to attract over a quarter of Australia's 37 million business tourists in the year ending March 2016.

He explained that this is why the government saw fit to invest so many billions of dollars into the new International Convention Centre.

"The precinct, which also includes exhibition and entertainment venues, will create a new paradigm for major events in Australia," Mr Ayres remarked. 

A series of 24 test events will be undertaken by the ICC Sydney team prior to the opening of the facility in December. 

In terms of major public events, the Pure Gold concert on December 23rd is already lined up, with a host of other concerts, exhibitions and sporting occasions expected to be announced in the coming weeks. 

Over 40 conventions have already been confirmed for dates between 2017 and 2026, including Sibos - one of the world's leading financial services industry events. 

Estimates indicate that the centre could contribute more than $5 billion of economic benefits to the state over the next 25 years. 

ICC Sydney chief executive officer Geoff Donaghy said conferences, exhibitions and other business events can be very lucrative for the tourist industry, as they attract visitors who spend up to six more times than people who come for leisure purposes.

"There is a wealth of international research that proves the value of business events goes beyond dollars to wider opportunities such as professional development," he added.

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