The 185,000 extra people expected in the Sydney CBD during July 17—18, for World Youth Day celebrations, will cause numerous road closures and changes to public transport. As a result, businesses are predicting a drop in sales.
“Basically they, [associate members] are concerned that the city is going to be deserted and people are being encouraged not to come,” said Michael Lonie, executive director of the Australian Retailers Association to Inside Retailing Online.
However, according to the Sydney Chamber of Commerce, supporting World Youth Day could be best for businesses in the long run. “All this naysaying begs the question of whether we are a global city or a provincial outpost,” said Patricia Forsythe, executive director of the Sydney Chamber of Commerce. “Sydney must have an aggressive approach towards attracting major events, given the competitiveness of the international tourism market and the strength of the Aussie dollar.”
For further information on World Youth Day, visit www.wydca.nsw.gov.au