Sydney wins Rotary convention

Sydney has won the right to host one of the world’s largest annual international business events, the 2014 Rotary International Convention for 22,000 delegates.The convention will inject an estimated A$63.8 million into the local economy during four days in May 2014, making it one of the largest and most lucrative business events ever mounted in Australia.

Sydney Convention and Visitors Bureau Managing Director Jon Hutchison said Rotary International had chosen Sydney for the 2014 event on the strength of an earlier bid for the 2012 convention.

“Sydney originally bid for the 2012 Rotary International Convention, but lost last November after a tough battle with rival city Bangkok,” Mr Hutchison said. “The Rotary International Board has now decided Sydney’s 2012 bid was so impressive we deserved to stage the event as well, so awarded us the 2014 event without calling for interest from other cities.”

Sydney’s bid was made jointly by three local Districts of Rotary representing 200 clubs, supported by the Sydney Convention and Visitors Bureau and the New South Wales Major Events Board.

Rotary International Past Directors John Carrick and Barry Thompson, who led the unsuccessful bid for the 2012 Rotary Convention, said they were delighted with the news from the most recent meeting of the RI Board of Directors.

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“Rotary International senior staff and members of the Board of Directors were clearly impressed by the quality of the 2012 Convention bid and this 2014 prize is appropriate recognition of the outstanding work of the Sydney Convention and Visitors Bureau,” said Mr Carrick.

“Our senior convention staff at Rotary headquarters in Chicago have gone on record as saying the excellence of the Sydney bid document will provide a benchmark for all future convention aspirants,” he added.

Mr Hutchison said the Rotary International Convention was one of the world’s largest annual international conventions, attracting tens of thousands of delegates from all corners of the world.

“To put in it perspective, an international convention for 5000 delegates is generally considered quite a large event, so the Rotary convention at 22,000 delegates is enormous,” Mr Hutchison said. “It’s a very prestigious event for a city to win.”

“And being a vocation-based organisation, Rotary’s members include leading business people,” Mr Hutchison said. “Having such high level visitors can also lead to business and investment opportunities for Sydney and Australia.”

The Rotary International Convention has been held in Sydney only once before in 1971 when it was a much smaller event. This year’s event will be hosted jointly in June by the Swedish city of Malmö and the Danish capital Copenhagen.

Sydney’s success in bringing the Rotary International Convention to Australia follows other recent giant wins including the 2008 World Youth Day which will bring 200,000 young people and inject an estimated A$196 million into the local economy.

Sydney’s most recent grand-scale event was the 13,250-delegate Amway China incentive conference held in January 2005. The Amway event was worth more than A$100 million.
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