Pictured: Tourism New Zealand congratulated 27 local experts for their work in bringing international conferences to the country. Pictured: Tourism New Zealand congratulated 27 local experts for their work in bringing international conferences to the country.

Conference winners recognised at event

An impressive 32 international conferences out of 89 tendered for, were won by bidders from New Zealand this year, an accomplishment that was celebrated at the Tourism New Zealand 2019 Business Events National Awards Dinner at the Auckland War Memorial Museum last night.

Addressing 27 of the successful bidders and their regional counterparts, tourism minister Kelvin Davis noted that Aotearoa/New Zealand already had an impressive international profile but we need to continue highlight what made us special, such as our unique culture and background. And he reminded the audience how much the country benefitted in return, as these delegates bring expertise to our door and are a great opportunity for our local members to upskill and network with international experts.

The conferences will bring an estimated NZD29m into the economy from around 14,420 delegates as well as strengthened export and trade links over the coming years. These high-value visitors spend around NZD334 per night, nearly double that of leisure visitors. And that money is often spent off-peak, vital to offset the quieter months.

Wins include the International Symposium on Microbial Ecology, which is expected to bring 1800 experts to Auckland in 2022; and the World Leisure Congress, which will attract some 1500 delegates to Dunedin in 2022.

Dr Adrian Pittari, Senior Lecturer in Volcanology at the University of Waikato, was integral to bidding for the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI) Conference in 2021.

The event will bring around 1000 of the world’s leading volcanologists to Rotorua. He says the event will be good for New Zealand science: “It puts the spotlight on New Zealand from an international perspective,’ says Davis.

“It's great for international scientists to come and see a world-class volcanic region, both in the field and listening to sessions and speakers on the topics of New Zealand volcanology. We want all the cutting-edge research from around the world to come here and to increase collaboration between New Zealand and international scientists.”

Other key sectors included health sciences, agriculture, IT, aerospace and advanced engineering.