Bid To Boost 'Overlooked' GWS Tourism Economy

Nicholas Rupolo •
March 14, 2023

Greater Western Sydney’s tourism leaders have banded together to call for a multimillion-dollar funding package to boost the region’s visitor economy, which they say has been overlooked and undervalued by government.

The sector’s heavy hitters say a $40million a year commitment over four years will attract and support
local and international visitors ahead of the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport opening in 2026.

The consortium has also called for a new industry-led delivery entity, in partnership with councils, to help Destination NSW support visitor attractions in Greater Western Sydney.

The move has been backed by the region’s leading think-tank, the not-for-profit Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue.

Chairman Christopher Brown AM said it was time for the government to back Greater Western Sydney as a global tourism destination.

“Western Sydney has so much to offer visitors, but it requires funding and local know how to realise its rich potential,” Mr Brown said.

“The opening of the state’s first 24-hour international airport will see 10 million passengers travelling to Western Sydney each year, and our region is desperate to roll out the red carpet and put on a show for these visitors.

“For too long Western Sydney has been overlooked and played second fiddle to the eastern suburbs, with the State Government pouring millions into harbour city events and tourism infrastructure, but the arrival of our new airport provides us with an opportunity to help get our fair share of funding.

“We want the people who land here, to stay here and to spend here.”

The Government’s own figures reveal a large gap in event funding to Sydney’s cities. Of the $82.6 million spent funding Sydney events in the last financial year, just three events were funded in the Western Parkland City, totalling $899,500.

Anthea Hammon, Managing Director at Blue Mountains Scenic World, said now is the ideal time to make Western Sydney tourism ready.

“With millions of tourists soon to land on our doorstep, this is the perfect time to transform Western Sydney’s visitor economy to create a thriving, multi-billion-dollar industry,” Ms Hammon said.

“Western Sydney can become a massive events hub for the families of Western Sydney and international tourists alike.

“The GWS overnight visitor economy already contributes $4.2 billion to the NSW bottom line. With renewed focus and funding, we can create a sustainable tourism industry that will be a boon for the local, state and national economies.”

The group is calling for a $40 million per annum investment over the next four years. This funding will

  • Product development
  • An industry and council representative entity
  • Aviation attraction
  • Marketing
  • Specific Greater Western Sydney events and initiatives


Jacqueline Vozzo, CEO at Western Sydney Lakes, said that with the new airport less than five years away from opening, the window for action was closing fast.

“This is a region with global tourism potential that can help support the nation’s economy as we bounce back from the devastating impacts of COVID on tourism,” Ms Vozzo said.

“With the airport set to open in just a few years, now is an ideal time to invest in attractions and events that will draw local and international crowds”. 

For media information

Belinda Wallis – Media & Communications Manager

Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue

0466 386 887