June 1, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

In a sharp contrast for how different states across Australia are faring in the midst of the pandemic, ICC Sydney hosted 60,000 attendees across a variety of events last week as Melbourne descended into a COVID-19-induced lockdown.

Acknowledging the situation in Victoria while events in Sydney were forging ahead, ICC Sydney CEO Geoff Donaghy says “resilience has proven paramount in remaining open throughout the pandemic”.

“Despite not knowing how long the road to recovery is, our successes in the venue give us confidence in what lies ahead,” he says.

“However, this past week’s Victorian outbreak and subsequent lockdown serves as a reminder that there will continue to be distractions and detours on our road to recovery.

“It is nonetheless reassuring to continue to see key recovery milestones met, most significantly the resurgence of Sydney businesses and the state economy. It is imperative that we retain our resilience as we aim for full confidence in national travel, the next step in recovery,” says Donaghy.

He also highlighted the need for vaccination as essential to reopening Australia’s international borders.

“It is my hope that we will then see additional travel bubbles emerge with certain markets and then ultimately, full and unfettered international travel.

“Underpinning the success of our forward trajectory is our need to be vaccinated. Once we are at acceptable vaccine levels, we’ll also need to address visitor quarantining in order to attract talent for events and, of course, delegates – allowing us to arrive at our ultimate destination.

“Even though challenges continue, it is important that we never lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel,” Donaghy says.