NZ shortlisted for LGBTI destination award

New Zealand has won more international recognition as an inclusive and welcoming country, shortlisted as “Travel destination of the year” at the Australian LGBTI Awards.

Recognition of New Zealand’s LGBTI-friendly status follows a unanimous decision to name Wellington as the host of one of the world's most influential lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) conferences in 2018. It will be the first time in the ILGA conference’s 40 year history that it will be held in New Zealand.

The conference win and the Australian award accolade have had strong support from Tourism New Zealand.

On the same day New Zealand voted to legalise same-sex marriage, in 2013, Tourism New Zealand launched a search for the first Australian same-sex couple to be married in Wellington, New Zealand.

The 100% Pure NZ logo was changed to 100% Pure CHOICE in rainbow colours and shared on social media. The campaign got over 1,150 positive media articles and was featured on 15 TV shows.

An estimated 500 same-sex couples have been married in New Zealand since marriage equality in 2013. Since equality, the first ever Gay Wedding Show has been held in New Zealand along with a business boom for same-sex wedding services.

“Being a finalist in the LBGTI awards is further recognition of New Zealand’s reputation as a welcoming destination and reinforces the decision to bring the global conference to the capital. Tourism New Zealand’s campaign launched on the day we legalised same-sex marriage won praise around the world and sent a signal that New Zealand was a supportive place to visit for the LBGTI community,” said Rene de Monchy, Tourism New Zealand’s Director PR, Trade and Major Events.       

The Wellington conference win was the result of months of work by the Intersex Trust Aotearoa New Zealand (ITANZ), Tīwhanawhana Trust, and RainbowYOUTH; with funding and support from Tourism New Zealand and the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency. Work is already underway for next year’s global event. Find out more:

The winner of the Australian award will be announced in March.

Tourism New Zealand works with groups across the country to encourage and support them to bring conferences to New Zealand. The estimated value of all conferences bids in the last financial year was an impressive $96.3 million.

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 organisation’s chance of winning a bid.  For more information: