CAS: Off-peak on the rise despite fewer events

More delegates attended fewer events in New Zealand with Auckland accounting for more than a third of the total number of attendance days in the year ended March 2017. The number of delegates attending all events increased to 3.6m, up from 3.4m in the year ended March 2016, according to the latest Convention Activity Survey released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) yesterday. The total number of delegate days increased to 4.5m compared to 4.2m in the previous period. Auckland attracted 1.6m delegate days, around 36% of the market, with Wellington accounting for just under 1m, or 22%. Although the number of delegates and delegates days increased, the number of events dropped slightly from 45,700 in the previous period to 44,000 in the year ended March 2017.   However, the latest data showed the business events industry is helping to boost tourism in off-peak seasons, said Conventions and Incentives New Zealand chief executive Sue Sullivan. “We are seeing a concentration of business event activity during the autumn and winter months, with an increase year on year,” said Sullivan. “The data shows an increase of around 120,000 delegate days during Q2 and Q3 in the year to March 2017, compared to the previous year. These extra delegate days are welcome news for operators during the off-peak season.” Lisa Gardiner, business events and premium manager for Tourism New Zealand said the marketing body was focused on bringing international conferences to New Zealand in the off-peak seasons. “New Zealand has a fantastic business events offering and we promote this internationally alongside the industry to bring conferences worth millions to Aotearoa,” said Gardiner “This is having significant results with the estimated value from conferences won in last financial year at an impressive $39.7m.” New Zealand had risen up the ranks as a global conference destination, according to the latest International Congress & Convention Association’s (ICCA) annual data, which was released last week.

The country rose four places in the world listings to rank 47th in the world in 2016 and 12th in the Asia Pacific region. The ICCA rankings capture international association meetings that took place around the world. New Zealand’s ranking over the last three years:

  • 2016 47th hosting 67 conferences
  • 2015 51st hosting 50 conferences
  • 2014 52nd hosting 45 Conferences
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