Auckland has ranked third out of all Australasian cities for the number of business events it hosts, overtaking Brisbane, Australia in the latest International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) rankings.
New Zealand’s largest city hosted 39 international association events in 2018 that meet ICCA criteria. The figure has moved Auckland up one place from 4th in 2017. Sydney and Melbourne took the number one and two spots for Australasia respectively. Out of all cities in Asia-Pacific, Auckland ranks 17th.
Head of Auckland Convention Bureau, Anna Hayward, says it’s fantastic to see Auckland featuring in the top three ICCA rankings for Australasia.
'Auckland’s business events industry has been working hard to promote the region as a premium international business events destination and this ranking highlights our growing popularity,' she says. 'It’s an exciting time for Auckland, we are getting closer by the day to the completion of the New Zealand International Convention Centre, there remains a solid pipeline of investment in infrastructure to support the visitor economy, as well as strong pool of professionals supporting events here.'
Adding to the business events offering this year has been the opening of the Domes at Auckland Zoo, offering a truly unique experience for event organisers, able to cater for up to 350 delegates. Refurbishments have also recently been completed on Auckland’s leading performing arts and events hub, Aotea Centre. Next month, Park Hyatt will open providing a welcome luxury addition to Auckland’s accommodation offering. Over the next five years 4,000-plus hotel rooms are in the pipeline with other leading international brands Ritz Carlton and Intercontinental joining the mix.
The NZ International Convention Centre (NZICC) will however be the “game-changer for Auckland,' says Hayward. 'NZICC gives Auckland the chance to attract a larger and new pool of international business events we’ll anticipate over time to further improve Auckland and New Zealand’s international rankings'.
NZICC will have the capacity to host 4,000 people for one-off events, or 3,000 people for conferences, exhibitions or dinners. With 32,500sqm of floor space it will be New Zealand’s largest purpose-built convention centre.It is set to open in 2020 and is already proving to be a popular venue, with a number of large-scale events already secured, including hosting some of the APEC events in 2021, culminating with Leaders’ Week in November where world leaders from 21 Pacific-rim countries will be in attendance.
The ICCA releases its ‘Country & City Rankings’ report annually.