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Tourism to New Zealand is highly seasonal, and international conferences will help smooth the flow.

Tourism New Zealand General Manager NZ and Business Events, Bjoern Spreitzer, told attendees at New Zealand business events trade show MEETINGS the conference delegates would help ensure New Zealand meets ambitious targets to grow its off-peak visitation.

Tourism New Zealand has set a goal of growing international tourism by Z$5 billion over the next four years, with 70% (NZ$3.5 billion) of that coming from visitors in the off-peak.

“Business events will play an important role in growing off-peak visitation. In 2023, 83% of international delegate arrivals came off-peak, between March and November, compared to 62% of holidaymakers,” Spreitzer said.

The business events sector was worth NZ$403 million to the country in 2023, he added.

Business event attendees are New Zealand’s fourth largest market by visitor spending, with an average daily spending of NZ$426 compared to NZ$304 for holidaymakers.

Tourism New Zealand aims to grow the value of international conference bids by targeting larger, high-impact conferences that support the country’s growth sectors, Spreitzer explained.

He noted New Zealand’s business events sector was bouncing back well from a low of hosting only five international conferences in 2021 and 10 in 2020 due to the global COVID-19 epidemic.

“The latest ICCA Country and City Rankings show the country ranked 43rd in the world in 2023 with 56 eligible conferences, up from 56th place in 2022 with 28 meetings.

“And there’s potential for even stronger growth going forward with our three new convention centres driving more and larger conference business to New Zealand. Combined with increased air connectivity and new hotel capacity, New Zealand has the potential to attract even more off-peak and significant events.”  




Edited by Peter Needham at MEETINGS 2024 in Rotorua, New Zealand