While Christmas is a long way off, work at the City is already underway to make sure the festive season is a big one for locals, visitors and businesses.
This year we're creating a Christmas celebration in our city that will be warm, relaxed, social and 'traditional-with-a-twist'. We want to harness our unique climate and attributes to present a Christmas celebration unique to the Southern Hemisphere.
It will offer the "wow" factor that attracts visitors and makes our city the number one shopping destination for Christmas, creating new economic opportunities for our business community.
Last year the City worked extensively with partners to promote a whole-city experience, and as a result there was a 96 per cent increase in footfall in mid-December compared to the same time in 2012.
We want to capitalise on the combination of major retail developments, our own public domain improvements and the growing hospitality focus in the city centre. The mix will include our famed interactive installations, concerts and shopping experiences.
For the first time, this year we've appointed a Christmas ambassador. Television personality Melissa Doyle (above) will join us to promote events, decorations, digital projections and the multi-media concert in Martin Place.
Sydneysiders love our Christmas projections and this year we're adding new areas where people can see them, focussing on shopping precincts in the city centre.
Our plans also include creating Christmas precincts in the centre of town. We'll focus on a new street or area each year, building over four years. We'll start this year with Pitt Street Mall and a colourful forest of Christmas Trees hanging above the Mall.
In an often-difficult retailing environment, this program signals our support for city retailers and our belief that the city centre is a premier environment for people to shop and enjoy themselves.
The City is committed to working with retailers to ensure the city is the only place where Sydneysiders think to shop.