Auckland is embracing the opportunities that comes with the DHL New Zealand Lions Series, with programmes to connect with potential migrants and investors, entertain local and visiting fans, and showcase the region and homegrown culture.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) is working closely with NZ Inc. including NZTE and KEA to showcase business, trade and investment opportunities. Hosting and networking events aim to connect business leaders and influencers, while other events showcase key sectors.
ATEED is also running its Smart Move campaign, first used during the World Masters Games 2017, promoting Auckland as a destination to work, study and do business. It targets migrants and expats with the potential to match Auckland’s skill gaps, particularly in the construction, tech, F&B, professional services, teaching and high value skill areas more broadly.
The Smart Move activities include a drop-in space at the Queens Wharf Auckland Fanzone for work, study and business related queries.
The fanzone is the Auckland hub for Series and the nationwide Rugby 2017 Festival, with live match screenings, free entertainment, live performances, exhibitions and family-friendly activities. Entertainment highlights include an all-star collaboration between Op Shop’s Jason Kerrison, Che Fu, Annie Crummer and Betty-Anne Monga, and a rare opportunity to catch the best kapa haka groups in the world performing in the heart of Auckland, in conjunction with Matariki Festival 2017 and the biennial Te Matatini championships.
With a focus on the visitor and fan experience, ATEED is operating Auckland’s renowned Fan Trail for the two Auckland tests, has facilitated two pop-up campervan parks at Ellerslie and Alexandra racecourses, and is working with Sir John Kirwan to promote everything the region has on offer for the 20,500 international visitors and 14,000 domestic visitors anticipated during the Series.
The projected benefits for Auckland are 165,210 visitor nights and a contribution of $26.7 million to the Auckland regional economy.
Auckland has been named the top meetings and conference destination in Australasia at the 2017 World Travel Awards.
This is the first time Auckland has received this award, which in recent years has been won exclusively by Melbourne.
Dubbed the “Oscars of travel”, the annual awards are voted on by senior members of the international travel industry as well as high-end consumers.
Manager of the Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB), Anna Hayward, is thrilled to see Auckland being recognised internationally as a business events destination in the coveted awards.
“With a wealth of intellectual capital, centralised event facilities serviced by a professional industry, a reputation for superior hospitality, and strong air links with the rest of the world, Auckland is at the forefront of hosting international events in New Zealand, and it’s fantastic to see this recognised through this award.”
ACB, which is a division within Auckland’s economic growth agency, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, is responsible for leading the bids for Auckland in collaboration with the likes of Tourism New Zealand, and bidding associations or conference organisers.
Auckland attracts a wide range of business events. With the added capacity that the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) will bring when it opens in 2019, the region is now better placed than ever before to attract much larger international events.
Mrs Hayward says the latest release of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) rankings also shows how Auckland’s profile internationally as a business events destination is continuing to grow.
“Auckland moved up 14 places in the rankings to 79 from 93 last year, and since 2014 we have seen Auckland shift 32 places overall. This is before the NZICC is even open.
Auckland Airport was also named Australasia’s Leading Airport 2017 and SKYCITY Auckland Casino, Australasia’s Leading Casino Resort 2017, in the awards.
Successful business event bids recently won by Auckland include the 2018 Global Speaking Summit, expected to attract more than 220 professional trainers, speakers, consultants, MCs and business leaders who each speak to an audience of more than 3,000 people globally each year; the 36th World Veterinary Association Congress (WVAC) to be held at the NZICC in 2020, bringing together an estimated 3,000 veterinarians from all over the world; and the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) 20th World Congress of Food Science and Technology, also at the NZICC in 2020, estimated to contribute $4.25 million to the Auckland economy.