City of Parramatta is calling on the NSW Government to increase funding for tourism and events in Western Sydney including launching a ‘Vivid Parramatta’ program.
At this week’s Council meeting, councillors agreed to investigate developing a City of Parramatta Tourism Strategy to promote the City as a global destination of choice for visitors.
City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Sameer Pandey said the strategy would help restore the balance between funding provided for destination marketing in the Sydney CBD and Western Sydney.
“Tourism and the visitor economy are positive economic and social drivers for communities and businesses. Our fast-growing city is Greater Sydney’s true centre, with more people expected to be living west than east of Parramatta in the next 15 years,” Cr Pandey said.
“Despite this, Western Sydney continues to receive a smaller proportion of Destination NSW funding for tourism and events, including international sports, cultural, creative and arts events. Between 2015–2022, 354 events were supported in Eastern Sydney, compared with 137 in Western Sydney.”
The Tourism Strategy would aim to capitalise on the planned redevelopment of Riverside Theatres, construction of Powerhouse Parramatta, the City’s First Nations connection and thriving food and dining culture.
It would be coordinated with the implementation of the City of Parramatta’s Economic Development Strategy 2023-2032 and complement endorsed strategies and plans relating to tourism and destination.
Councillors also agreed to write to NSW Government ministers to advocate for funding for a ‘Vivid Parramatta’ program.
In 2023, Vivid Sydney, Australia’s biggest festival, achieved a record attendance of more than 3.28 million.
“One way to address the imbalance in funding festivals and events across Greater Sydney is for the NSW Government to invest in a ‘Vivid Parramatta’ program,” Cr Pandey said.
“The Vivid program, which has been successful in attracting international visitors, takes place in the Sydney CBD, and currently does not include a Western Sydney component which is a missed opportunity.
“City of Parramatta is home to a thriving nighttime economy. We recently received Purple Flag accreditation joining a list of global and vibrant cities like Stockholm and Dublin and hosted more than 20,000 at our month-long Women’s World Cup Live site in Parramatta Square.
“We have it all here in Parramatta – our sports, dining, entertainment and cultural offerings are all part of our City’s character. Whether you want to watch a game at Commbank Stadium or Sydney Olympic Park, catch a show at Riverside Theatres or feast on authentic flavours on Eat Street or across our City – Parramatta is an attractive global destination for visitors from Sydney and the world.”