Industry strengths and capabilities

Tourism contributed A$34.5 billion (GSP) to the New South Wales (NSW) economy in 2016–17, representing nearly one-third of tourism’s contribution to Australia’s gross domestic product. In the same period, the state’s tourism sector directly employed 171,000 people, and a further 90,900 people indirectly.

The NSW visitor economy is constantly evolving, bolstered by strong NSW Government support and action.

The China Tourism Strategy was developed in 2012 with a $15 million investment over four years.

An impressive $110 million was invested in rail, airports and cruise infrastructure, including 28 regional airport upgrades, from the Regional Tourism Infrastructure fund in 2014.

In 2016, the $1.5 billion International Convention Centre opened, and has transformed the business events sector in Sydney. Now, the NSW Government’s $300 million Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund is aimed at growing and diversifying regional economies, and increasing tourist visitation in regional NSW.

Major events

DestinationNSW is the organisation responsible for growing the NSW tourism and major events sectors. It markets Sydney and NSW as one of the world’s premier tourism and major events destinations. It acquires and develops major sporting and cultural events for Sydney and regional NSW.


NSW – and Sydney especially – is a major hub for business events, often hosting conferences, conventions, exhibitions and major meetings attended by professionals from across the Asia-Pacific region and globally. Business Events Sydney promotes the city, identifying and securing new event, convention and exhibition opportunities for the city and regional NSW, as well as initiating travel reward programs.


Sydneysiders are avid sports fans, and the city’s regional centres proudly host a range of national and international events. The city boasts excellent infrastructure for many indoor and outdoor sports thanks to hosting the Olympic Games in 2000. Regular fixtures include the Bledisloe Cup rugby union tournament, international surfing competitions, soccer internationals and golf tournaments such as the Emirates Australian Open.


The state has an exciting arts and cultural scene. Sydney is home to some of Australia’s finest museums and galleries. Theatres, playhouses, live music venues and cinemas are scattered throughout the city and suburbs, showcasing talented local performers and accommodating international productions.

The seaside city of Newcastle, about 160 kilometres north of Sydney, is Australia’s second-oldest city. It offers beautiful beaches, historic architecture, excellent restaurants and bars, and a lively arts and cultural scene.