ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) is pleased with the potential economic growth impact for Auckland generated by a New Zealand International Convention Centre being built in the city, as announced today by the government.
As Auckland’s economic growth agency, ATEED has shown support for the development of an international scale Convention Centre in Auckland’s CBD, as part of the Council’s 10 year Visitor Plan, approved in 2011, which forecasts the sector contributing $6.6 billion to the regional economy by 2021.
ATEED Chief Executive Brett O’Riley says the establishment of a world-class facility at SKYCITY is a welcome addition to the Auckland visitor economy, providing a boost to the business events sector and likely stimulating investment in new infrastructure and services, including hotels and new attractions.
“Conventions and incentives delegates are high value visitors who deliver good economic returns. They have a long length of stay, often visit during the tourism low season and have a higher spend per night.
“We are delighted with the opportunities this will bring to the region. It will allow Auckland to compete strongly against other international cities and secure major conventions that we would otherwise miss out on,” says Mr O’Riley.
An International Convention Centre is projected to generate $85 to $100 million of new foreign exchange earnings in the first year, based on a capacity of 3,500 delegates. An international convention delegate spends around $365 per night, compared to an average spend of $200 per night for international leisure visitors.
“As well as being able to showcase Auckland as a preferred destination for conventions, we will also be looking to maximise opportunities for pre and post visitor itineraries that will bring even bigger economic benefits.”
“And having the leaders of global companies in our city for their conventions opens an opportunity to present Auckland as a great place to invest and to support our aim of becoming an Asia Pacific innovation hub,” says Mr O’Riley.
Mr O’Riley says the International Convention Centre will be a positive signal to investors who we know are already interested in hotel development, and are analyzing future demand trends.
“Business events, and Auckland’s Major Events Strategy are changing Auckland’s visitor arrival profile, and will continue to reduce seasonal impacts on hotel demand. As an example, in April 2013 ATEED saw the combination of the ITU Triathlon, ITM 400 V8 Supercars, TRENZ and existing business events increase hotel demand in the city. The new International Convention Centre at SKYCITY will add to this trend,” he says.
“This is a major economic growth opportunity for the Auckland economy – tourism is already the largest employment sector with 54,360 employees, representing 8.7 percent of the regional workforce.”
This announcement comes shortly after the Government confirmed that it will invest $34 million over four years into the international business events sector.
“Our region has so much potential and I’m looking forward to working collaboratively with SKYCITY, Tourism New Zealand and industry association CINZ (Conventions & Incentives New Zealand) to maximise the opportunities and continue to grow the important business events sector for Auckland and New Zealand,” says Mr O’Riley.