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Auckland in sight for 2018

18 August 2014

Auckland in sight for 2018

More than 500 delegates from around the world will set their sights on Auckland in February 2018 with the city winning the rights to host the Retina International World Congress 2018.

Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) – part of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) – worked with Retina New Zealand and The University of Auckland to secure the hosting rights, with support from Tourism New Zealand’s Conference Assistance Programme (CAP) bid fund.

ACB Manager Anna Hayward says the Retina International World Congress 2018 will make an estimated contribution to Auckland’s regional GDP of more than $900,000.

"The benefits of business events like the Retina International World Congress are far-reaching. Beyond the obvious economic value, they bring people together to exchange knowledge and ideas, build business relationships and over the long term attract investment and talent flows.

“The conference market is globally competitive and lucrative. Auckland is well positioned to secure a larger piece of this market following the recent launch of the Auckland Business Events Plan,” says Ms Hayward.

The plan’s target is to grow the value of the sector from $236 million in 2013 to $430 million annually by 2023.

Retina NZ President Fraser Alexander says delegates voted unanimously for Auckland to host the 2018 conference, which will be one of the largest and most significant projects in the organisation’s 25 year history in New Zealand.

“Retina research is developing at an increasingly rapid rate and the prospect of so many like-minded delegates and presenters assembled in Auckland to advance our shared philanthropic aspirations excites and motivates me greatly,” says Mr Alexander.

Tourism New Zealand International Business Events Manager Bjoern Spreitzer says this win is a great example of the business events sector working collaboratively to secure another international conference for New Zealand.

"Tourism New Zealand has significantly increased its work in the business events sector, including the management of the CAP bid fund, with the goal of attracting more high-value international delegates to New Zealand and this is a great result of this activity.”

Auckland Convention Bureau markets Auckland as a destination for meetings, incentives, conventions and events.

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