Invited to attend by Tourism New Zealand, the Congress provided huge learning experiences, on what conference organisers expect in terms of quality service levels from food to parking, staff to technology. “If we want to grow our reputation this sector of the market, as Rotorua’s premium venue, we really need to understand these expectations first hand and ensure we deliver on them,” says Elliott.
‘We have all the elements that it takes to deliver international conferences in Rotorua, including the ‘X-factor’ many organisers are looking for – our unique Māori culture and Te Arawa manaakitanga,” says Elliott. “We are increasingly attracting international business events and we need to ensure that we are delivering to the highest standards, across the board,” she says.
As the centre of Māori culture, Tourism New Zealand have indicated that Rotorua is critical to the country’s success in the international business event space. With the new Auckland Convention Centre now significantly delayed by the recent devastating fire, Rotorua is an even more important part of the international conference mix.
“With the significant developments now underway in the city, Rotorua is in a great position to take advantage of the opportunities in this sector. Developments like the Lakefront, Ngāti Whakaue’s international spa facility, the 4.5star Pullman Hotel, the redeveloped Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre and Rotorua Museum – they all send signals to the marketplace that Rotorua is on the move and is investing in its infrastructure and visitor attractions to provide delegates with world-class, unique experiences,” said Elliott.
The MBIE Business Delegate Event Survey 2018 indicates that on average international conference delegates spend NZ$326 per person per night (72% higher than other international visitors) and stay almost 5 nights in the host city. International delegates spend around $163million in New Zealand so these events bring huge economic benefits, not just to the venue but to the wider hospitality sector, including hotels, restaurants, bars, transport and retail.
For the year ending December 2018, international delegates made up 11% of the 137,672 delegate days for business events in Rotorua.