The harbour city has been named the world’s best festival and event city for the fifth consecutive year, as bestowed by the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) at this year’s IFEA 59th Annual Convention and Expo in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

“This award is a source of great pride for Sydney and demonstrates the Harbour City’s position as one of the world’s leading destination for tourism and events,” Destination NSW CEO, Sandra Chipchase, said.

“Securing major events has been a priority for Destination NSW, the Government’s tourism and major events agency, as we work towards achieving our goal of doubling overnight visitor expenditure by 2020.”

This award comes off the back of a string of major event investments and wins secured by Destination NSW, including:

  • The 2014 Opening Series of Major League Baseball
  • The Bledisloe Cup ten year deal, where at least one Bledisloe Cup game will be played in Sydney each year from 2012 to 2021
  • International soccer giants Juventus vs A League All Stars
  • FFA Friendly – Socceroos vs South Africa
  • State of Origin and the National Rugby League Grand Final Week
  • Sydney International Art Series – Yoko Ono: War is Over! (if you want it) and America: Painting a Nation
  • Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour and securing of the event for a further three years from 2015
  • The Australian premiere of the Lion King and Matilda the Musical opening in 2015 plus the world premiere of Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom the Musical
  • Australian Open of Surfing at Manly and Bowl-A-Rama at Bondi Beach
  • Vivid Sydney, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, owned and managed by Destination NSW.

“We can all be proud of the recognition Sydney has received, placing it in its rightful position as the major events capital of Australia,” Ms Chipcase said.

“Since Destination NSW was created, we have been focused on developing the Sydney and NSW Events Calendar as the most compelling in Australia and this award proves that we are achieving that goal.

“Sydney is Australia’s global city. In the year ending June 2014, Sydney welcomed 32.5 million visitors who not only experienced the excellent events on offer but also our city’s beautiful beaches, park, food and wine, galleries and museums, shopping and other great attractions,” she said.

President and CEO of IFEA, Steven Schmader, said the international panel of judges noted that among the many great world cities considered for the award and recognition, Sydney consistently stands out as a leader in all that they do.

“Uniquely, Sydney is the only city to have received the award every year since its inception, five years ago. I believe that is a statement and a tribute to the level of quality and professionalism – by both city and events – that you have dedicated yourselves to and, by achieving, set as an example for your global peers to aspire to,” Mr Schmader said.