Sydney Nightlife in 2030: Looking Forward

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With most of our CBD venues still operating on reduced hours and locked out as we play children's games until it's bedtime, we take a look ahead at what Sydney nightlife jobs may look like in 2030.

Over the few years, Sydney has copped a barrage of criticism from its residents and business owners who have been affected by the nanny state laws, while competition from our very proud neighbours down in Melbourne light up well into the night.

Is there a future here for Sydney bar and restaurant operators and will a night time economy in our state thrive and provide critical employment for residents, including our youth and students engaged in tertiary education?

The simple answer is yes.

Globally, over the next decade, the tourism sector is forecast to grow at an average of 3.9% per year. By 2027 it will generate more than 11% of the world’s GDP and employ a total of 380 million people. It's a fact that 1/4 of all jobs created in the next decade will be supported by Travel & Tourism.

More locally and as Australia’s global city, the City of Sydney accounts for 7.5 per cent of Australia’s gross domestic product, with the night-time economy making a significant contribution.

In 2011, the City of Sydney commissioned research into the economic benefits and costs of Sydney’s night time economy. It found $15.1 billion was generated in 2009 and represented 28.4 per cent of all jobs.

How much revenue was generated from beverage operators in Sydney?

Of this, $425 million was generated by beverage-led businesses (liquor retail, pubs); $1.4 billion came from cafés, restaurants and takeaway food shops, and $868.6 million was generated by entertainment-led businesses such as cinemas, creative and performing arts, clubs, sports and recreation, amusement, and racing revenue.

Considering the current state of our lock out laws, beverage or bar sector growth has been maintained following the introduction of the small bars programme, which is targeting growth in new venues that hold a max of 60 guests at a time. Coined as Sydney 2030, this plan, is designed to deliver a smaller and better-regulated model with wider appeal across age ranges and to professionals working and living in the City Centre.

What projects are supporting growth in the Sydney night time economy?

As for looking forward into the night, you only need to look at growth in development projects in transport, aka the light rail, more diversity in all ages activities, major events and outdoor festivals and the growing small bar scene and you can see that we are moving forward. Slowly.

What jobs suit people who want work in nightlife?

Sydney nightlife jobs in 2030 are secure and flexible. As we progress towards being a globally recognised, 24-hour city, employment opportunities will be highly accessible and compliantly remunerated. Suiting those who study or have other unique interests to pursue.

Whether it's just a job as a bartender, a section waiter or a permanent career move into management, jobs in hospitality are available all around the clock, proving it to be one of the most flexible employment choices available.

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About the author Marlowe Bennett

Drawing on 22 years personal experience and over 23,000 professional hours working across Sydney’s hospitality industry, these articles intend to inspire young candidates to join our industry and support aligned operators in building positive employment environments for the aspiring hospitality professional. Please feel free to contact me directly if you feel I could help or if you would like us to cover an important topic or industry matter.

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