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International convention visitors show growth for NZ

International convention visitors show growth for New Zealand

Business events are generating high value for New Zealand’s visitor industry, and it can only get better, says Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ).

The Convention Delegate Survey (CDS) released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for the year to December 2017 shows the total spend by international convention delegates was up 17 per cent compared to 2016.

CINZ Chief Executive Sue Sullivan says business events are a major growth sector for New Zealand with nightly spend for international convention delegates over 50 per cent higher than the average nightly spend of all international visitors.

“This can only grow as our value proposition strengthens, and we gear up for major new convention centre and hotel infrastructure which will give us the ability to cater for much larger multi-day conventions,” Sue Sullivan says.

“These figures do not reflect the economic impact these international delegates have after they leave the country. We do not account for the ongoing relationships, knowledge transfer or commercial transactions that happen. The numbers don’t include the spending by their partners or family either.

“The broader benefits of a growing business events economy are equally important. New Zealand’s business events sector provides key support for infrastructure development, business relationships, knowledge transfer and industry investment, with the benefits spreading across both city and regional economies,” she says.

Multi-day convention delegates stayed an estimated 1,080,000 visitor nights in New Zealand and they spent an estimated $506 million in 2017. The average per-person per-night spend for all delegates who spent time away from home to attend conferences was $385.

“The total spend was down on last year’s $588m which was driven by high domestic growth in 2016, but still a good step up from $472 million in 2015,” Sue Sullivan says.

The Convention Delegate Survey shows strong growth in international convention delegate spend was driven by an increase in delegates (up 9 per cent), and length of stay (up 20% to 7.2 nights), but offset by a fall in nightly spend (down 10 per cent from 2016 to $299).

Convention Delegate Survey (CDS) YE December 2017 (MBIE)

International delegates stayed an average of 7.2 nights (up from 6 nights in 2016) in New Zealand - 4.4 nights in the event region and 2.8 nights elsewhere in New Zealand),
• spending an estimated $299 per night
• this per night spend is almost double the average spend per night for all international visitors.
• on average international delegates spent $2,151 in New Zealand.

Domestic delegates (New Zealand delegates from outside the event region)
• stayed an average of 3.1 nights in the event region
• spending an estimated $461 per night.

Multi-day convention delegates spent an estimated $506 million within New Zealand in 2017 (compared to $588m in 2016 and $472m in 2015 ). Of this:
• Domestic delegates spent $267 million (53 per cent of total delegate spend) on attending events outside their home region.
• Local delegates spent $86 million (17 per cent) inside their region.
• Internationals visitors spent $153m (up from $131 million in 2016) 30per cent) in New Zealand.

Multi-day conventions generated an estimated 1,080,000 visitor nights in New Zealand (up from 1,005,000 in 2016)
Of this:
• 82 per cent (882,000) of visitor nights were spent in the region that hosted the event (international and domestic delegates),
• The remaining 18 per cent (198,000) of visitor nights were spent in other regions (international delegates only).

Download the full report here

About the New Zealand Convention Research Programme (CRP)
• CRP is a partnership between the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and regional convention bureaux to measure business event activity in New Zealand. Business events cover meetings, incentives, conferences, conventions and exhibitions. The CRP administers two Business Event surveys:
o the Convention Delegate Survey (CDS) and
o the Convention Activity Survey (CAS).
• The CRP regional Convention Bureaux members that are represented are: Auckland, Rotorua, Hawke's Bay, Taupo, Manawatu, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch & Canterbury, Dunedin, Queenstown, Hamilton & Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Marlborough.

About Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ)
• CINZ is the official, membership-based association of New Zealand’s conference and business travel industry with more than 430 members across a broad range of sectors.
• CINZ takes a leadership role in increasing meetings, incentives, conference and events business for the benefit of its members, principal stakeholders and the New Zealand economy.
• CINZ works to actively promote the sector, providing advocacy with central government and offering assistance, information, professional development and real business opportunities to its members.

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