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Conference bid winners' $31 million success celebrated

A group of 22 experts from across New Zealand have been recognised for their work to bring around 15,000 international business delegates to the country, contributing an estimated $31 million to the New Zealand economy.

“Last night we acknowledged the organisations and individuals we have worked with to achieve conference bid successes,” says Lisa Gardiner, Business Events and Premium Manager Tourism New Zealand.

 “These are a diverse range of people from university academics to health sector professionals who have worked with us to champion their field of expertise on the global stage and attract major conferences to New Zealand.”

“It’s great to be able to recognise their efforts and encourage others to take up the mantle and help us attract even more international conferences to our shores.”

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Winners - experts from across New Zealand are celebrated

The international business events sector, particularly international conferences hold great potential to attract new high value international visitors to New Zealand.

International delegates spent an average of 6.5 nights in New Zealand (4.5 nights in the event region and 2.1 nights elsewhere in New Zealand), spending an estimated $304 per night. This per night spend is almost double the average spend per night for all international visitors.

New Zealand conference organisers are targeting international events in sectors where New Zealand excels on the global stage such as the marine industries, agribusiness, health science and high-value foods. New Zealand’s expertise and leadership in these fields helps to further position New Zealand as a desirable destination for international events. 

Professor Phil Bishop, Director – Ecology Degree Programme at Otago University attended the event and was recognised for winning a bid for a conference that will see around 1,000 delegates visit New Zealand.

He says “Winning the bid to host the 9th World Congress of Herpetology, over countries like Australia, Kenya and Hungary, was a fantastic triumph not just for New Zealand, but more specifically for Dunedin and the University of Otago. In 2020 New Zealand will be visited by the top biologists in the world who specialise on amphibians and reptiles. The support I received from Tourism New Zealand and Enterprise Dunedin, both financially and logistically, took all the hard work out of preparing the bid and together we produced highly professional brochures and an amazing presentation which blew away the competition!”

Lisa Gardiner, from Tourism New Zealand adds, “It has been our most successful year to date and with new major conference centres coming on board in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch we are expecting to see even more growth.”

New Zealand is performing extremely well internationally as an attractive and unique business events destination. The estimated value from all conferences bid for, and won in the last financial year is $96.3 million.  

“New and existing conference facilities alongside increased air capacity and favourable economic conditions have tipped the scale in our favour.” 

Key facts 

A number of conferences will be held across the country over the coming years benefiting many regions, these includes Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Wellington Christchurch and Dunedin.

Tourism New Zealand had a target to assist 60 conference bids a year. In the in 2015/16 financial year a massive 71 international bids were achieved with 72% success rate. The target was also exceeded in the previous financial year.

The Tourism New Zealand bid team is focussed on promoting New Zealand as a compelling business events destination in the core markets of Australia, China, South East Asia, USA and the Global Association market. 

Tourism New Zealand offers strategic marketing and bid assistance to internationally-affiliated organisations seeking to host a conference of more than 200 international delegates in New Zealand.  Assistance includes providing a financial feasibility study of the conference, bid presentation costs, international travel assistance, preparing professional documents and presentations to set bids apart and marketing strategies to improve an organisations chance of winning a bid.