(12pm 28 October 2011, Lord Mayor's Reception Room, Sydney Town Hall)
I would like firstly to acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, and I pay my respects to the Elders, both past and present.
Welcome, and thank you all for coming to this lunch time workshop. This is a chance for us to give you an overview on some of the initiatives underway in our City, particularly the development of our first Night Time City Policy. This Policy looks at how our City transitions from day to night, and the kind of infrastructure we need to ensure that Sydney is not only fun and exciting in the evening, but also safe.
Our City hotels are important contributors to Sydney's economy and to its cultural life. In the year ending June 2011, Sydney received almost 7.7 million domestic overnight visitors and over 2.6 million international overnight visitors. Hotels account for the largest proportion of visitor accommodation within central Sydney, with the major hotels in central Sydney and Ultimo/Pyrmont accounting for more than 65% of the total number of hotel rooms in our Local Government Area. We've recently done research that let us know the 2009 accommodation turnover in the City of Sydney was $668.9 million - with nearly 8000 people employed in accommodation alone.
Our hotels play an important role in attracting visitors to our City and in creating a city culture and night life. This workshop gives us an opportunity to get together, exchange information and ask questions so that we can work together in ensuring Sydney flourishes during the day and the evening, and that it's an exciting global destination that visitors want to return to, often.
Thank you and I'll hand over to Monica.