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Rotorua wins bid for international environmental conference

More than 1300 of the best scientific minds are coming here in August 2020 for the largest international conference on photosynthesis.

New Zealand has won the bid to host the 18th International Congress on Photosynthesis Research for the first time ever - with Rotorua favoured over other potential host locations across the USA and Europe. 

The conference is a joint venture between Tourism New Zealand, Destination Rotorua, and the University of Otago. 

Professor Julian Eaton-Rye of University of Otago successfully presented the bid to officials in the Netherlands earlier this month. 

Professor Eaton-Rye will Chair the 2020 Congress alongside academics and event organisers from across New Zealand. 

“This is a significant business event for New Zealand and for Rotorua, and is expected to contribute nearly $3 million to the regional economy,” says Craig Murray of Destination Rotorua, who worked closely with Tourism New Zealand’s Business Events team during the bidding process. 

“Photosynthesis is a topic that is instrumental in many industries. It’s not just about leaves. It’s an important feature in climate change, the production of biofuels, the energy sector, and in the primary sector. Here in Rotorua, forestry and the forestry sciences are a big focus, and photosynthesis and climate change are topics within the school curriculum so the congress is a perfect fit for the region.” 

The 18th International Congress on Photosynthesis Research will be held at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre, a Qualmark 4-star plus multi-purpose complex on the shore of Lake Rotorua. The venue has capacity for up to 4000 delegates, which was a big draw card for the International Society of Photosynthesis Research, says Mr Murray. 

“In conferences of this size it is common for organisers to have to hold lectures across multiple locations. The beauty of the Rotorua Energy Events Centre is we can hold the lectures and workshops, and discussion groups all within the same complex,” says Mr Murray. 

“Rotorua is a tourist destination in its own right and we presented a range of pre- and post-conference tours around New Zealand. This was another contributing factor in New Zealand’s selection as host nation. Rotorua is hard to beat for conference and business event organisers. There are so many options for delegates to explore and enjoy during their visit. ” 

Tourism New Zealand’s Conference Assistance Programme provides funding and support to organisations and associations wishing to host an international conference in New Zealand.