And with a 30 percent increase in capacity direct from the US, that growth is expected to continue.
Tourism New Zealand and partners have just attended IMEX America to showcase all that New Zealand can offer people across the globe who are looking for a conference, event or incentive destination.
The three day event, held in Las Vegas was attended by thousands of tourism industry representatives.
Bjoern Spreitzer, Tourism New Zealand General Manager Americas and Europe says “In July, American Airlines and United Airlines launched direct services to New Zealand - offering US travellers more choice than ever before. Around 180 direct flights a month are now on offer from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hawaii and Houston.
“New Zealand’s natural landscapes, unique visitor experiences; cuisine and world class conference facilities are now more accessible than ever.
“IMEX is a great opportunity for us to connect with people across the globe who are looking for a conference, event or incentive destination.”
“Companies are looking for one-of-a-kind locations that incorporate business facilities, culture, entertainment and cuisine. New Zealand is unique in being able to offer itineraries where groups can hold a business function in the morning, jet boat or enjoy a game of golf in the afternoon and top it all off by dining at a vineyard that same evening.”
Nick Judd, Regional General Manager, Americas from Air New Zealand says that the newest direct route direct from Houston to New Zealand has opened up the door from the heart of southern USA. Since launching the route from Houston to Auckland we have seen significant growth. “We look forward to welcoming more visitors from the southern and Midwest states and major East Coast cities where the option to connect through Houston will effectively make New Zealand’s tourism proposition more accessible than ever before.”
Bjoern adds, “With exciting new conference venues in development, New Zealand’s business events offering really is world class and it is great to be able to showcase this.”
New Zealand International Convention Centre General Manager Operations Callum Mallett says New Zealand’s $471 million (NZD), international convention centre will be a global hub of innovation and knowledge exchange in the heart of Auckland city, boasting large flexible functional spaces for a wide range of events including intimate meeting spaces on all levels, a convention capacity for 2,850 and the ability to cater for one-off events for up to 4,000 people.
“The NZICC will see New Zealand becoming even more competitive on a global stage, with Auckland having the ability to bid for high-level, major international business events”.
“I was very impressed with the Imex Las Vegas show and with New Zealand’s display area. Through it’s design Tourism New Zealand enabled all of our products to stand out. The coffee station, New Zealand wine happy hour and promotional videos really helped set the scene for our clients. From a NZICC perspective I was extremely happy with the quality of leads we received from being there.”
Imex took place on 18-20 October in Las Vegas and is the USA's largest annual industry trade show.