Prime Minister Bill English at the Matavai Conference Centre opening Prime Minister Bill English at the Matavai Conference Centre opening

Niue is stepping up to join the meetings and incentives market, with the opening of the Matavai Conference Centre Niue and new, deluxe guest accommodation at the Scenic Matavai Resort last week.

The new conference centre was the focus of huge media attention as it was jointly opened by New Zealand Prime Minister, Bill English, and the Premier of Niue, Sir Toke Talagi.

The Prime Minister, along with New Zealand MPs and business leaders, was visiting Niue as part of a high-level Pacific Mission, which travelled across several Pacific nations last week. He admitted initial scepticism when, as finance minister in 2009, the then Foreign Minister Murray McCully told him Niue needed New Zealand’s help with significant investment in its tourism facilities.

Since then, tourism numbers to Niue have doubled and visitor spending increased by more than 80%, however, most arrivals come only during the winter season, from July to October.

"So I must say it is very satisfying to come now to this spectacular place to see the quality of the facilities that are here,’ said Mr English.

‘The new facilities we have opened at the Matavai Resort today will help establish Niue as an event and conference venue, with spin-offs for tourism operators across the island. 

‘Niue has established a busy tourist high season, and these new facilities are part of a strategy to spread tourist visits over the year so that impacts on the environment are sustainable and benefits for the local economy are ongoing.’

Matavai Conference Centre sits on a cliff top location and features two, fully air-conditioned spaces that can be transformed into one larger space with capacity for 168 guests (theatre) or 140 (banquet), with additional terrace space for 40. Other spaces in the resort; the multi-level terraces or poolside bar, all featuring panoramic ocean views can also be used. 

With the latest addition of 12 deluxe, clifftop rooms, the resort now offers 67 rooms and self-contained apartments and one three bedroom villa. Other island accommodation includes guest houses and self-catering villas and cottages.