How a city struggles to attract visitors

Sydney is home to many of Australia’s leading cultural institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Australian Museum, the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct and the Sydney Opera House. However, according to the report, Melbourne has long been recognized as the number one cultural destination in Australia.

Nicolaou said Sydney matches and surpasses Melbourne with its “mix of venues large and small, which has grown since lockout laws were lifted and councils enacted looser rules on entertainment spaces and trading hours”.

Anything Melbourne can do, Sydney can do better

Venerable Public Art Museums: National Gallery of Victoria v Art Gallery of NSW

New Cultural Infrastructure: NGV Contemporary vs. AGNSW Sydney Modern Wing and Powerhouse Parramatta

Performing arts venues facelift: Melbourne’s Arts Center vs. Sydney Opera House

Major Arts Festivals: Rising: Melbourne v Sydney Festival; Melbourne Writers Festival vs. Sydney Writers’ Festival; Melbourne International Film Festival vs. Sydney Film Festival; Melbourne International Comedy Festival vs. Sydney Comedy Festival

Big stage shows: Hamilton, Moulin Rouge! The musical, come from away have or will be performed in Melbourne and Sydney

But he said parking costs and the reliability of public transport needed to be addressed to attract visitors to the business district – the business lobby advocates free public transport at weekends and more night services from the city to the suburbs.

A spokesman for Arts and Tourism Secretary Ben Franklin said the NSW government is aiming to make the state the “first visitor economy” in the Asia-Pacific region.

“A key pillar to achieving this goal is investment in tourism, marketing and events programs that support and encourage a thriving artistic and cultural identity for Sydney as the nation’s capital for major cultural events,” he said in a statement.

Sydney’s arts chiefs said the city lacked a cultural brand and the creative sector felt “unsupported” by Destination NSW, the state government’s tourism agency.

Amyl and The Sniffers perform at the Enmore Theater on August 12th.

Amyl and The Sniffers perform at the Enmore Theater on August 12th.Recognition:Rhett Wyman

“There has been resistance or at least minimal help from DNSW in the past, although this has changed with new leadership,” the report said.

Lisa Havilah, executive director of the Powerhouse Museum, said it was important “to put First Nations stories first and to embed culturally diverse, fine-grained experiences within our beautifully complex Sydney identity – which reflect the true nature of our contemporary identity.” .

“It’s those experiences that are compelling and distinctive to visitors,” she said.

Labour’s Arts spokesman Walt Secord said western Sydney should be included in the plan to attract returning visitors.

“The state government has lazily relied on the international reputation of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge to attract one-off visitors,” he said.


“You have to be brave. We want international visitors to come back for a second and third time – rather than just ticking Sydney off their bucket list.”

The report calls for a Sydney Arts Precinct that connects the city’s cultural institutions such as theatres, museums and major arts companies under an identifiable brand and collaborative facility.

“A key objective of the Sydney Arts Precinct is to attract residents of Sydney and NSW with rich cultural content and experiences as a driver to visit the CBD,” the report reads.

Business Sydney is also calling for the appointment of a Cultural Industries Commissioner to lead a cultural industries strategy to promote Sydney to locals and visitors as more than just a place to do business and shop.

David Beirman, Adjunct Fellow in Tourism at the University of Technology Sydney, said it would be “crazy to ignore Sydney’s global icons” when promoting the city to local and international travellers.

However, state and federal tourism boards have historically not given enough weight to arts and culture, Beirman said.

“Effectively promoting Sydney’s cultural scene could add a day or two to a visitor’s stay in Sydney, and every extra day benefits other tourism businesses and the economy at large.”


Destination NSW feel NSW Launched last year, the campaign includes cultural events as well as the state’s natural wonders.

“I think raising the profile of Sydney’s artistic and cultural attributes is far more useful than wasting time and money proclaiming Sydney the cultural capital of Australia,” Beirman said. “Let the product do the talking.”

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Joel McCord

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