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Lights On Western Sydney - Visitor Economy Forum

A star-studded line-up of industry leaders and change makers will feature at the signature "Lights On" event at the Western Sydney Conference Centre on Friday, April 5.

Hosted by Penrith Valley Chamber in partnership with Blue Mountains Tourism, the Lights On Western Sydney - Visitor Economy Forum promotes Penrith City as a hub for visitors to Sydney and the Blue Mountains, ahead of the new Western Sydney International airport opening in 2026.

The Forum follows two successful "Talking Tourism" events organised by Blue Mountains Tourism and Penrith Valley Chamber last year, promoting industry networking within Western Sydney.

Penrith Valley Chamber president Richard Fox said the visitor economy "is everybody’s business’' and the forum was all about "collaboration for regional prosperity".

Event sponsor Penrith City Council outlines the immense potential for the region in the Penrith Visitor Economy Strategy 2023-2030. Currently attracting 1.64 million annual visitors, the council's target is to increase visitation to Penrith to 2.74 million annual visitors by 2030.

Penrith will be the only city fully connected to the new Western Sydney International airport by road and rail.

"By showcasing the region’s cultural richness, outdoor adventures and unique attractions, we aim to position ourselves as a must-visit destination for arriving travellers, fostering economic growth and enhancing the overall tourism experience," Mr Fox said.

"We have some challenges ahead and we need to work on solutions, and the best way to do that is to work together for the benefit of us all."

The event will kick off with a group of leading CEOs followed by panels covering accommodation, major tourism operators and sports tourism.

Delegates will be treated to a view of transformational new opportunities proposed for the region including Western Sydney Lakes, Winter Sports World and the night-time economy, complemented by valuable networking opportunities.

Speakers will include Destination NSW CEO Steve Cox, NSW Office of Sport executive director (centres, venues and regions) Adam Berry, Western Sydney Airport CEO Simon Hickey, PSM/Sydney Metro chief executive Peter Regan, West HQ Ltd CEO Richard Errington and BESydney CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith.

UDIA NSW president and Western Sydney Lakes board director Jacqueline Vozzo, Sydney Zoo managing director Jake Burgess, Inglis Group managing director Mark Webster, Scenic World managing director Anthea Hammon, Winter Sports World managing director Peter Magnisalis, ATEC NSW regional manager Jennifer Bruce, hospitality provider Jessica Jenkins, 24 Hour Economy commissioner Michael Rodrigues and Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue chair Chris Brown AM.

Blue Mountains Tourism president Jason Cronshaw, who owns Fantastic Aussie Tours, said: "To have the calibre of these industry experts together in one room is an opportunity to be inspired, explore fantastic new opportunities and do business with some of the biggest, most experienced industry linchpins – and most unique newcomers – in the region."

It was a chance to learn about current and emerging tourism shifts and trends, WSI airport opportunities and hear inspirational stories from other local businesses.

The Lights On Western Sydney - Visitor Economy Forum will be held at Western Sydney Conference Centre, 83 Mulgoa Rd, Penrith, from 9am to 3.30pm on Friday, April 5. Tickets: Penrith Valley Chamber and Blue Mountains Tourism members $149, and $189 for guests.

  • Click HERE to register to attend

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Norman Lindsay Gallery, Faulconbridge.

Mountain biking on the Oaks track between Glenbrook and Woodford.

The old Lucasville Station platform and stairs on the Lapstone Zig Zag track.

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