New Zealand’s popularity is growing as a destination for hosting international conferences. New data from the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranks New Zealand 46th in the world as a conference destination, up five places on 2017, and 12th in the Asia Pacific region.

New Zealand hosted 64 international conferences in 2018, up 33 per cent since Tourism New Zealand’s Business Events team was established in 2013. In FY18 Tourism New Zealand’s conference wins were worth $49.5 million to New Zealand’s economy.

“New Zealand is punching above its weight as a conference destination, winning more conference business than ever before,” says Tourism New Zealand Business Events Global Manager, Anna Fennessy. “Alongside sophisticated conference venues and stunning scenery, New Zealand is seen as having one of the warmest welcomes in the world. We’re outperforming much larger, more easily accessible destinations through our manaakitanga and hospitality.”

Fennessy said with two new dedicated conference centres opening in 2020 – Te Pae in Christchurch and the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) in Auckland – New Zealand’s conference capacity and ability to target larger events was set to grow further.

“The future outlook is very positive. Business events deliver significant economic benefits to our communities, they also allow for knowledge share between global and Kiwi experts and get New Zealand expertise on the world stage.”

Highlights of the 2018 conference calendar included:

  • Libraries of Life conference – Bringing together 365 leading researchers responsible for the care of natural history collections to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time (Dunedin).

  • International Conference on Cancer Nursing – Bringing together 540 delegates to focus on excellence in cancer care (Auckland)

  • Public Communication of Science and Technology Conference – Bringing the world’s largest and most significant conference in the field of science communication to New Zealand (Dunedin).