With the kickoff of NZ’s MEETINGS 2009 event today (Jul 21) business tourism is currently holding steady in the economic climate and the outlook for the coming year in New Zealand is strong.
“Looking ahead over the next six to twelve months, both international and domestic conference and incentive bookings are looking reasonably healthy,” says Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) CEO, Alan Trotter. “Admittedly the industry has found the last year or so challenging, but I think the worst of the trough is over and we are on the way up.
“With an international standard national convention centre looking likely for Auckland, strengthening Australian and domestic bookings and a sound base of international association business to build on the industry is starting to take shape again.”
Trotter adds that the CINZ driven Government funded Conference Assistance Programme (CAPS) is working hard behind the scenes to maintain and build the strong international association conference base.
CAPS offers free advice to research and write international Association conference bids and since April 2005 CAPS secured association conferences have injected $140.45 million dollars into the New Zealand economy.
“For every $1 invested in CAPS we are seeing a $100 return straight back into the economy which is very pleasing,” he said. “A total of 16 international conference bids went ahead over the last year with 11 of these successful and worth more than $18 million to the economy.”
Trotter added that the currently happening Meetings 2009 event which showcases 170 of New Zealand’s conference and incentive suppliers to overseas and local buyers will provide a much needed boost to business tourism throughout the country.
“More than $25 million dollars worth of business is usually booked during the 2 ½ day annual tradeshow, with a further $160 million secured over the next year or so from leads established at the show.”