Heritage trails, food and wine events, Vivid, Little India and river festivals.
They’re some of the suggestions proposed for Parramatta under a bold new vision to put western Sydney on the map.
This week, tourism minister Adam Marshall unveiled the state government’s plans to drive visitor growth to region with the release of the Western Sydney Visitor Economy Strategy. It includes nine strategic directions supported by a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sydney Business Chamber and the Western Sydney Business Connection.
“When people think of tourism in Sydney, many don’t think of western Sydney,” Sydney Business Chamber western Sydney director David Borger said.
“Now isn’t the time to turn our back on the area. We been working with the state government and Destination NSW on some ideas. I thank Adam Marshall, who is the first tourism minister to take this region seriously.”
One of Mr Borger’s suggestions was river festivals.
“Venice has one, as does London for the Thames,” he said.
“Why not have something in Parramatta, Liverpool and Penrith celebrating their rivers.”
Other ideas included expanding Sydney’s annual Vivid festival to the west.
Parramatta MP Geoff Lee also had ideas.
“I want to see Parramatta known for its heritage, which is why a heritage trail is so essential,” he told the Sun.
“I’d love to see something just like the Hawkesbury Harvest Trail. I would also love to Harris Park become Little India.”
As part of the announcement, Western Sydney Business Connection received a $100,000 investment boost from the state government towards its Visitor Network Strategy.
“It's the step in the right direction,” Western Sydney Business Connection general manager Amanda Brisot said.
“This money will go towards developing three experience trails across western Sydney – we will start off with cycling, walking and cuisine and later look to add heritage and other great trails.”
Western Sydney Business Connection is currently working on a tourism app, which will be launched December.
“It will be a one stop shop of what to do in western Sydney,” Ms Brisot said.