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Australian visitors critical to business events sector recovery


The announcement of a confirmed date for quarantine-free travel from Australia, starting on April 19, is crucial news for New Zealand’s business events industry.

Business Events Industry Aotearoa says opening the borders with Australia is essential to ensuring the sector’s economic future.

“Australian clients are telling us they want to meet and do business person-to-person in New Zealand, and we can’t wait to welcome them back,” BEIA chief executive Lisa Hopkins says.

“This is a much-deserved relief for our business events industry members who have really battled for the last year,” she says.

“Business events are planned and booked well in advance, and today’s news will give Australian organisers the confidence needed to plan and book their events in New Zealand, not just for this year, but further ahead.

“Business events attendees spend more than any other visitor. They are here for business, education or trade, and will pay appropriately for the experience, bringing far-reaching value in terms of jobs, growth and opportunity,” she says.

“These visitors bring revenue to cities and regions during weekdays, off-peak and shoulder seasons, because they operate in a counter-cyclical nature to leisure tourism. This will be so important for winter 2021 and beyond.”

The economic value to New Zealand of Australian business event delegates is estimated at $225 million in direct spend per year. (Source: BEAS, BEDP, BEDS 2019, Fresh Info).

On average, each Australian delegate spent a total of $1800 in New Zealand in 2019, averaging four nights in the event region, and another two nights elsewhere within New Zealand.

BEIA has identified $38 million in direct spend from Australian-based conference organisers looking to host an event in New Zealand between mid-2021 and the end of 2022.

BEIA is hosting New Zealand’s largest business events showcase, MEETINGS in early June. Australian buyers have already registered to attend the event, on June 2-3, in Auckland, in anticipation of the announcement.

They will also be given the opportunity to join eight planned familiarisations around the country, offering a first-hand experience of New Zealand’s regional capabilities to host future conferences, incentives and meetings.

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