Business Sydney


Special guests: Steve Cox, CEO, Destination NSW, John Hart OAM, Chair, Australian Chamber - Tourism, Carolin Lenehan, General Manager– Content, Creative and Corporate Affairs, BESydney & Paula Martin, Executive Director, NSW Tourism Industry Council

Tuesday, 18 April 2023

5:30 PM to 8:00 PM



Luna Park, Palais Corporate Venue



Business Sydney Members & Guests

The world has rekindled its love affair with Australia – international visitors are returning in increasing numbers and Sydney is once again the gateway to the nation’s exciting tourism revival.

And there are so many attractions that are making Sydney the drawcard for a world of travellers hungry for the amazing experiences we have to offer.

At this event Phillipa Harrison, Managing Director, Tourism Australia, outlined the research and strategies for getting Australia back on the map as a must-travel tourist destination.

Then Steve Cox, Chief Executive Officer, Destination NSW highlighted the exciting opportunities ahead this year for Sydney and the NSW tourism industry.

Phillipa and Steve then joined John Hart OAM, Executive Chair, Australian Chamber – Tourism, Carolin Lenehan, General Manager – Content, Creative and Corporate Affairs, BESydney and Paula Martin, Executive Director, NSW Tourism Industry Council for a panel to discuss the bright future of tourism for our nation, state and city.

Event Partners

to come


Special GuestS


Managing Director, Tourism Australia

As the Managing Director, Phillipa is responsible for driving Tourism Australia’s strategies to create sustainable international demand for Australia’s tourism experiences and working with the tourism industry to support the sector’s recovery from the impacts of the events of 2020.

Phillipa first joined Tourism Australia in February 2017 as Executive General Manager International, to lead the organisation’s international operations for Asia, the Americas, Europe and New Zealand as well as Global Distribution and Partnerships.

Prior to joining Tourism Australia, Phillipa spent six years working for Hamilton Island Enterprises and before that held a variety of globally-focused senior sales, marketing and product roles across ecommerce, retail and wholesale tourism platforms, based in both London and Sydney.

Phillipa holds a Bachelor of Arts (Mass Communication and Psychology) from Macquarie University and an MBA from AGSM at the University of NSW.



CEO, Destination NSW

Steve Cox is the Chief Executive Officer of Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency.

Destination NSW is the lead agency, champion and voice for the NSW visitor economy. It also owns, manages and produces Australia's largest event, Vivid Sydney.

Steve is a passionate and energetic champion for Sydney and regional NSW. He drives the strategic direction of Destination NSW, including the delivery of the Visitor Economy Strategy 2030 to ensure NSW is the premier visitor economy of the Asia Pacific by 2030. 

Steve is also a Director on the Boards of Business Events Sydney (BESydney) and the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse.

Prior to joining Destination NSW in 2020, Steve was the Managing Director of Dymocks for eight years, where he launched several high-growth business channels for the company. Before Dymocks, Steve held senior roles with David Jones and the Specialty Fashion Group. Steve holds an MBA with Macquarie University – Graduate School of Management.



Executive Chair, Australian Chamber - Tourism

John Hart OAM is Executive Chair of Australian Chamber – Tourism, Chair of Tourism Training Australia and Australian Grape and Wine. He is on the Board of Tourism Australia, the Australian Business Register, the Angus Knight Group and Food Standards Australia and New Zealand.

John was Chief Executive Officer of Restaurant & Catering Australia, the peak industry body representing restaurants, cafes and caterers for 18 years. He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for service to the tourism industry in 2021 and holds a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Business Law and a Master of Business Law.

John currently also served as Chair of the Commonwealth Vocational Education and Training Advisory Board between 2013 and 2017 and was previously on the Prime Ministers Business Advisory Council.



General Manager – Content, Creative and Corporate Affairs, BESydney

Carolin is General Manager – Content, Creative and Corporate Affairs at BESydney, leading its corporate and marketing communications teams to promote Sydney’s industry and business event capabilities globally, and create value-driven networks across industry, government, academia, business and media.

With over 25 years’ experience in strategic communications, public and corporate affairs, government relations and project management, Carolin has run her own communications consultancy and held senior positions in industry development and engagement, international relations, global communications, brand transformation and events with government agencies including the Australian Trade & Investment Commission, NSW Department Industry and Investment, Destination NSW, Qantas and Australian Airlines.


Paula Martin

Executive Director, NSW Tourism Industry Council

Paula Martin is an Executive Director NSW Tourism Industry Council and Executive Director Regional NSW and Visitor Economy.

Paula’s focus is to drive positive tourism and regional economic outcomes for business including skill development, jobs and reduction of red tape through the initiation, and delivery of initiatives that help business grow through collaboration with government, industry and business.

Paula has extensive experience in innovation and commercialisation and built the multi-award winning, progressive and technologically driven, multi-disciplinary consulting business, Australian Business Consulting & Solutions.

Paula has experience providing integrated consulting and technology solutions that help Australian business improve their marketing, international trade, safety, human resources and business improvement strategies.

Under her leadership, Paula achieved many firsts including the set-up of an operation in Shanghai China to help Australian SMEs find genuine, authentic buyers in China. The design of leading HR Management System - HR Advance. The development of Australia’s most comprehensive and award winning small business online business health check (underpinning Telstra Business Awards), designed to benchmark and improve the health of a small business.

With a background in innovation, marketing, branding and strategy, Paula has successfully led significant national branding and commercialisation at both a corporate and product level for companies including KPMG, Development Dimensions International and Research Institute for Asia and the Pacific.




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