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International convention visitors show growth for New Zealand

Pictured: Sue Sullivan, Chief Executive, Conventions and Incentives New Zealand

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)

International convention delegates heading to New Zealand last year spent 17 per cent more compared to 2016 according to the Convention Delegate Survey released by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

CINZ Chief Executive Sue Sullivan says business events are a major growth sector for New Zealand with nightly spend for international convention delegates over 50 per cent higher than the average nightly spend of all international visitors.

“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.

“These figures do not reflect 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, knowledge transfer and industry investment, with the benefits spreading across both city and regional economies,” she says.

Multi-day convention delegates stayed an estimated 1,080,000 visitor nights in New Zealand and they spent an estimated $506 million in 2017. The average per-person per-night spend for all delegates who spent time away from home to attend conferences was $385.

“The total spend was down on last year’s $588m which was driven by high domestic growth in 2016, but still a good step up from $472 million in 2015,” Sue Sullivan says.

The Convention Delegate Survey shows strong growth in international convention delegate spend was driven by an increase in delegates (up 9 per cent), and length of stay (up 20% to 7.2 nights), but offset by a fall in nightly spend (down 10 per cent from 2016 to $299).

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