Tourism and hospitality operators in the lower South Island are “absolutely fizzing” following the announcement that Dunedin will debut as host city for TRENZ.
Dunedin mayor, Dave Cull, said the city’s selection for next year’s event was a “huge vote of confidence in Dunedin City and the wider region”, represented by partners Tourism Waitaki and Venture Southland.
It is the first time the southern city has been selected to host the event, which will bring up to 1200 international travel and tourism buyers, media and NZ tourism operators to Dunedin.
Previously, the annual trade show, which has been running since the 1960s, has only been held in Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown and Rotorua.
It also marks the event’s return to the South Island after being hosted in the North Island for the last five years.
Alongside the obvious direct economic benefits, Cull said TRENZ 2018 is an “unequalled opportunity to showcase world-class tourism offerings to global travel, trade and media influencers and allow them to experience all of it first-hand.”
“This announcement sends a clear message to key international markets, regional dispersal is not only a reality for tourism in New Zealand, it is an imperative,” he added.
Tourism is now Dunedin’s second largest economic driver following education delivering close to $700m per year to the local economy or around 15% of the city’s GDP.
Cull said: “This in turn has the potential to even further boost the already growing number of international visitors to our city.”
He added that being chosen as host city “highlights Dunedin’s ability to successfully deliver large-scale business events and solidifies its position as one of New Zealand’s top business event destinations.”
Chris Roberts, chief executive of Tourism Industry Aotearoa, which manages the event, said: “Bringing TRENZ to Dunedin in 2018 will lead to an unforgettable experience for international and New Zealand delegates and will help support the $35bn tourism industry’s goal of encouraging regional dispersal.
“The financial benefits of hosting TRENZ can be felt for many years. The buyers will discover first-hand how much Dunedin has to offer, which will help secure the city and the host regions’ place on future travel itineraries.”
The announcement was made on the final day of TRENZ 2017 which took place at The Cloud and Shed 10 on Auckland’s waterfront last week.
TRENZ 2018 will run from May 7-10 at The Edgar Centre in Dunedin.