Auckland set to get hairy

Auckland has won the rights to host the World Beard and Moustache Championships in 2021.

The event is a biennial competition in which some of the most outrageous, and highly styled facial hair on the planet is on display.

Tourism New Zealand assisted the bid to bring this competition to New Zealand, along with the Auckland Convention Bureau. 

"Events like this put New Zealand on a world stage and deliver significant economic benefits,” says Lisa Gardiner, International Business Events and Premium Manager at Tourism New Zealand.

The event will bring around 500 people to Auckland in the shoulder season, with many participants expected to take the opportunity to travel across New Zealand while they’re here.

“The win has already generated significant global media coverage that will increase when the event takes place. This is great marketing for New Zealand as a destination,” says Lisa.

The Fellowship of the Beard NZ President, and regular competitor, Ygnacio Cervio, travelled to Austin, Texas where the 2017 competition was held to bid for the unique event.

He says The Fellowship of the Beard wants to ensure the competitors’ time in Auckland is a memorable experience.

“Some competitors will be travelling a fair distance to compete so we want to make their travels worthwhile. Our wish is for all of them to have a great time, meet old friends, make new ones and take home the best memories from our vibrant city.”

The two-day competition will include the 16 traditional categories of judgement in The World Beard and Moustache Championships, plus a ‘Whiskerina’ category for women to enter, and ‘Crowd Favourite’, where attendees will choose the winner.

Tourism New Zealand provides financial support to internationally-affiliated associations and organisations that want to bid to host an international conference in New Zealand through its Conference Assistance Programme (CAP).

The programme helped secure 33 international conferences worth almost $45million in the last financial year.