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As The Tourists Arrived - The Local Beginnings of Sydney International Travel and Hotel Industry

(1860s -1880s)

Tuesday 15 June from 4.30pm

By the early 1870s a bold new era of global tourism was establishing itself in Sydney. As travellers from the northern hemisphere began to arrive in the colonial city “in search of health or pleasure” Sydney catered to their tastes by erecting handsome International Hotels and publishing illustrated Visitor Guides. The age of the globe-trotter had commenced — drawing its inspiration from Jules Verne’s 1872 classic Around the World in Eighty Days and the exciting new developments in steam transport, shipping routes and telegraphic communication that had begun to crisscross the globe.


One and a half centuries later, as Sydney’s international tourism industry faces ongoing uncertainty about its future, join Max Burns-McRuvie as he brings to life the fascinating story of how it all began. Listen as Max illustrates how Sydney’s global awakening as a travel destination culminated in the city hosting the International Exhibition of 1879 and installed a local tourism industry prior to its official incorporation into the Thomas Cook travel empire.


But it wasn’t all smooth sailing: not only did Sydney’s first royal visitor, a French Prince, tragically die while lodging at the city’s premier international hotel on York street; the challenge of providing suitable accommodation for tens of thousands of travellers expected for the 1879 Exhibition was met with city-wide panic as Sydney came to terms with its shortcomings as an inexperienced host.


Reimagining the city’s pulse in the lead up to its first colonial centenary, Max’s visual presentation will transport guests back to the busy metropolis and fashionable hotels in close proximity to the Kent St Heritage Precinct through the illustrated pages of Sydney’s first Visitor Guides and Tourist Handbooks.

Our music has an exciting international flair with the Wayruro Trio - a South American band inspired by funk Afro Latino jazz grooves. The group comprises of Peruvian composer and guitarist Jorge Aparicio 'aka' Fito, with Daniel Meillan from Chile on bass and Australian Luke Dixon on drums. These three members also play in the band Yakumama - a 7 piece 60s psychedelic, cumbia Amazonica group from Sydney.

Please note: This is an outside courtyard, all weather event. Please bring appropriate clothing/umbrellas.

Doors open at 4.30pm with a welcome complimentary cocktail.

Guests are invited to stay on to enjoy quality eats and drinks from the Sily bar. 

 

General Tickets:$65

Member Tickets: $55 (save 15%)

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