World Youth Day to boost Australian economy by $231 million

Sydney, Australia, Mar 12, 2008 / 02:36 am (CNA) .- An independent study claims that World Youth Day 2008 will bring $231 million into the Australian economy.

The Sydney Chamber of Commerce report took into account anticipated tourism earnings, business opportunities, global brand positioning, and cultural exchanges.  Pilgrims’ expenditures on food, accommodation, transportation, and retail sectors are expected to top $231 million.

“This study reinforces the view of many that WYD08 will not only deliver social benefits to Australia but will also inject substantial immediate benefits into Sydney’s tourism, hospitality and retail businesses,” said World Youth Day 2008 Chief Operating Officer Danny Casey.

Casey said that World Youth Day will draw 125,000 pilgrims to Sydney for the event, which will take place between July 15 and 20.

“WYD08 will further project Sydney as a leading global city and further boost the cultural credentials of our great city,” said the Hon. Patricia Forsythe, Executive Director, Sydney Chamber of Commerce.

Though the event is held primarily in Sydney, in the week prior to the event tens of thousands of pilgrims will visit parishes in other parts of the country under a program called Days in the Dioceses.

The event will mark Pope Benedict XVI’s first papal visit to Australia.