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).
Figures released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for the year to December 2015 show the average per night delegate spend is up 15 per cent from 2014.
CINZ Chief Executive Sue Sullivan says business events are a major growth sector for New Zealand with international convention delegates spending an estimated $350 per night, twice as much as other visitors to New Zealand.
“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.
“What is not reflected here is 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, expertise and industry investment, with the benefits spreading across both city and regional economies,” she says.
MBIE’s latest figures show conventions and conferences generated around 846,000 visitor nights in 2015, of which 44 percent were from overseas delegates. Total spend by international convention visitors was up 11 percent compared to 2014, driven by the increase in per person spend and also an increase in delegates, up nine per cent. They spent an average of 5.8 nights in New Zealand.
Arrivals from Australia were up 10 per cent for the 2015 year, while other international arrivals were up eight per cent.
“The work we are doing in Australia and the international profile we are receiving through Tourism New Zealand is really starting to pay off,” Sue Sullivan says.
“Our annual two-day exhibition CINZ MEETINGS is an international showcase for New Zealand, set for June in Auckland. Last year the trade show hosted 600 domestic and international buyers and generated $56 million in business bookings.”
Domestic conference attendees are especially important to regional New Zealand. CINZ says domestic delegates from outside the host region spend on average $509 per night, up 15 per cent on 2014.
“The domestic market continues to grow, with delegates travelling to smaller destinations and staying on average four nights in the event region.”