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Sydney–China relationship goes from strength to strength with new partnership

Sydney’s relationship with the significant China market has been strengthened with a new Business Events Sydney (BESydney) initiative that was launched today. BESydney CEO, Lyn Lewis-Smith, described the Key Distribution Partner (KDP) Program as a long-term, strategic and results-orientated initiative that was created by BESydney in recognition of the importance of the Chinese market to New South Wales (NSW), to deepen Sydney’s engagement with China, and to boost the city’s profile as a premier business events destination.

Australian Consul-General in Shanghai, Ms Alice Cawte, along with representatives from the NSW Government (NSW Trade & Investment and Destination NSW), Austrade and Tourism Australia attended the special event. Leading industry partners including Qantas, Accor, Hilton, Shangri-la, Starwood and Intercontinental were also present.

“Our business from Asia is growing at a great rate. We are seeing growth in the corporate market that is being driven by new events and repeat events. In the last three years, 85 business events from Asia have been held in NSW, contributing an estimated $190 million to the economy,” said Ms Lewis-Smith.

“Last financial year, BESydney secured 11 Chinese corporate incentive events, which represented over 50% of the total estimated economic impact for NSW from all corporate incentives secured by the bureau during this period. A further 10 Chinese corporate incentives, amounting to potentially 25,000 delegate nights, are currently in the event pipeline.

“I’m very excited to launch the Key Distribution Partner China initiative in Shanghai today. The key word here is “partner”. This program is a partnership with leading business event agencies, event companies and travel agents based in China, which is designed to foster long-term collaboration, grow business opportunities for both parties, and strengthen the Sydney–China relationship.”

BESydney’s long-term strategy in China is underpinned by its close alignment with the NSW Government’s strategies for engaging with this priority region. Released earlier this year, the NSW International Engagement Strategy – a critical component of the NSW economc development framework – outlined the State’s plans to target professional services, ICT, education and tourism, among other industry sectors, to encourage growth in NSW business activity in overseas markets.

“We know the potential of this market and we need to ensure that we are in the best place to capitalise on these opportunities. Our focus is collaborative, aligning ourselves with industry and government to target business opportunities in China in a strategic and coordinated way,” said Ms Lewis-Smith.

“The KDP program will build on our already strong ties with China, which have been developed over a decade of engagement. This is the next step in our relationship.”

Ms Lewis-Smith also highlighted Sydney’s whole-of-city commitment to the Chinese delegate experience as a key reason for the city’s desirability across this market. She added that partners such as Sydney Airport and BridgeClimb Sydney were taking the Chinese visitor very seriously and going ‘above and beyond’ to enhance their overall experience in Sydney.

“We’re working with key partners such as Business Events Sydney to boost business and tourism to our city,” said Sydney Airport CEO, Kerrie Mather.

“Sydney Airport is Australia’s gateway to China. Chinese passengers are our second-largest international passenger group and we want to ensure we’re China-ready to serve this important market,” she said. “We’re focused on catering to the needs of our Chinese customers, with Chinese wayfinding signage, Mandarin-speaking Red Ambassadors and appropriate retail offerings to ensure an easy and welcoming experience in Sydney."

BridgeClimb Sydney CEO, Todd Coates added “BridgeClimb aspires to be a must-do experience for Chinese visitors to Sydney.”

“In line with our passion for making a hero of every climber, BridgeClimb launched the Mandarin Climb, featuring proud local Mandarin-speaking Climb Leaders, in January 2013. This new experience has contributed to a 30% growth in Chinese climbers over the last year.”

“Additionally, Chinese visitors can now use their UnionPay cards in a growing number of stores, restaurants and taxis throughout the city, while an increasing number of suppliers and venues are offering impressive, tailored services to meet the requirements of discerning Chinese event planners and their clients,” said Ms Lewis-Smith.

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