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Business events to boost Auckland’s visitor economy

Media release
12 August 2014

Business events to boost Auckland’s visitor economy

Auckland is poised to significantly build its visitor economy with the help of a 10-year Business Events Plan designed to grow the value of the conventions sector to a $430 million industry by 2023.

Launched today, Auckland’s first Business Events Plan has been developed by Auckland Convention Bureau – part of Auckland Tourism, Event and Economic Development (ATEED).

Auckland Mayor Len Brown endorses the plan and says business events will play an important part in the growth of Auckland’s visitor economy.

“Auckland is on track to becoming the world’s most liveable city. A world-class business events sector will help our city attract more visitors, more investment and new jobs – all of which will help deliver this vision,” says the Mayor.

The ambitious plan has four key outcomes: to grow the value of the business events sector; grow the volume of delegate days; reduce seasonality by growing demand in the tourism shoulder season; and to use business events to support growth and investment in key industry sectors.

ATEED Chief Executive Brett O’Riley says the time is right to launch the plan and to stimulate a new drive for business events.

“Auckland’s business events journey is at a pivotal stage. The Government is investing more in the sector nationally, Auckland is bidding for and securing more international conferences and plans are underway for the development of the New Zealand International Convention Centre, which will enable us to host global events of up to 3,500 delegates,” says Mr O’Riley.

The plan’s target is to grow the value of the sector from $236 million in 2013 to $430 million annually by 2023, and grow the volume of delegate days from 1.98 million in 2013 to 2.55 million annually by 2023.

It is anticipated that growth will be strongest in the multi-day conference segment at 9 per cent per year and in international demand at 8.5 per cent.

Business events already play an important role in reducing tourism seasonality and the aim is to build on this, by growing the number of international business event delegates who arrive outside Auckland’s peak tourism period from 70 per cent in 2013 to 75 per cent in 2023.

The plan also seeks to support growth and investment in key sectors, recognising the value business events, such as international conventions, can play in connecting industry leaders and accelerating innovation.

“The benefits of business events are far-reaching. Beyond the obvious economic value, they bring people together to exchange knowledge and ideas, build business relationships and over the longer term attract investment and talent flows,” says Mr O’Riley.

Among the plan’s short-term actions are increasing resources in the key Australian market and developing a stronger focus on incentive activity particularly in North America and South East Asia.

Auckland’s Business Events Plan will work in tandem with the Auckland Visitor Plan and Auckland Major Events Strategy – developed by ATEED on behalf of Auckland Council.

Ends


Notes to editors:

Business Events includes conventions, meetings, seminars, conferences, trade shows, exhibitions and incentive travel.

Value (in the Business Events Plan) is measured in regional exports – the visitor expenditure and sponsorship business events bring to Auckland.

The Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) is part of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) – Auckland’s economic growth agency.

ACB markets Auckland as a destination for business events and works to increase business events for Auckland from both the domestic and international markets.

The Business Events Plan was developed by ACB in consultation with key industry stakeholders including representatives from the business events sector. The plan aligns with the Auckland Visitor Plan, Auckland Council’s Economic Development Strategy and other strategies from tourism partners have been taken into account – including the Tourism Industry Association’s Tourism 2025, Tourism New Zealand’s Three Year Marketing Plan, Air New Zealand’s Going Beyond and Auckland International Airport’s Ambition 2025.


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