Podcast | Intelligent Investment

How one of the world’s most liveable cities grows its visitor economy

10 Minute Listen

The image shows Phil Rowland and Steve Cox during the recording of a Talking Property podcast.

In 2019, Australia’s visitor economy was worth more than $166 billion and considered the country’s fourth largest export sector. As one of the world’s most liveable cities, Sydney has consistently placed amongst the top ten in the Global Liveability Ranking, a yearly assessment by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The global city was even named the world’s fourth most liveable city in 2023, beating out major cities like Vancouver and Geneva.  

One person who has contributed significantly to this performance is Steve Cox, CEO of Destination NSW. Part of his role is to drive the strategic direction of Destination New South Wales and the delivery of the visitor economy strategy for the state. In his exclusive interview with CBRE Pacific’s Chief Executive Officer, Phil Rowland, Cox explains the real-time strategies that his team are using to achieve economic targets and social benefits while bringing stakeholders together to make a difference to the people of NSW.   
To form a guiding blueprint for other global cities to take inspiration from, this vital conversation explores:   

  • Ways to develop the visitor economy  
  • Building the brand and reputation of a leading global city  
  • Driving repeat visitation locally and abroad  
  • How the existing built environment can be used to produce results  
  • Showcasing the hidden potential of cultural ‘villages’ beyond the city’s popular landmarks  

For more insights on how to create a thriving global city, read CBRE's recent feature on how experts are building world class cities.  
If you have any questions from this episode or property topics that you’d like CBRE to answer in future episodes, please email us at: [email protected]


Phil Rowland

Chief Executive Officer, Pacific, CBRE

Phil Rowland leads CBRE’s Advisory businesses in Australia and New Zealand, with overall responsibility for Advisory & Transaction Services, Asset Services, Capital Markets, Project Management and Valuations.

Steve Cox

CEO, Destination NSW

Steve Cox 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.

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