Sport promises business boost

THE state government will attempt to drive tourism to western Sydney using the region's sporting and cultural events as major attractions.

Acting Premier and Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Stoner outlined the plan while meeting with western Sydney business leaders in Parramatta, last week.

"Western Sydney has its own vibrant cultural identity, with iconic sports teams like the Western Sydney Wanderers and new attractions like Wet 'n' Wild drawing thousands of visitors to the region," he said.

"With over a third of all people employed in the Sydney metropolitan area working in western Sydney, the region is also set for significant infrastructure and business investment, employment and population growth in the coming decades."

Mr Stoner said domestic and international visitors to western Sydney spent $3.5 billion last financial year.

"If we can increase annual visitation by 10 per cent, this could inject an extra $350 million to the western Sydney economy," he said.

Sydney Business Chamber director for western Sydney, David Borger, said packaging Parramatta as a destination during the Western Sydney Wanderers' Asian Champion's League was one of the ideas to come from Mr Stoner's talk.

"Let's face it, western Sydney is never going to be the number one destination for overseas visitors but there are opportunities," he said.

"I like the idea of packaging, say, a RiverCat ticket with a stay in Parramatta on Church Street.

"Visitors could hit up Riverside Theatres and then Wet 'n' Wild the next day before heading off to the Blue Mountains and beyond."

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