New Zealand remains high on event planners’ lists

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The New Zealand government recently announced its borders will reopen on 12 April to fully vaccinated Australian visitors and then from 1 May, vaccinated travellers from visa-waiver countries and those with valid visitor visas will be able to arrive.

From these dates, visitors will be able to travel to New Zealand without needing to self-isolate. They will need to provide a negative pre-departure test and undertake Rapid Antigen Tests [RAT] on arrival and on day 5. Tourism New Zealand’s Chief Executive, René de Monchy said: “We look forward to welcoming international business events back to our shores very soon. We’ll be ready to welcome delegates back to experience our breath-taking landscapes, amazing activities and to meet with our inspiring thought leaders. Our people and place are what make us unique, and we look forward to sharing this with the world again.”

New Zealand had one of its largest ever contingents at AIME – 17 partners – including the major regional convention bureaux, hotels, and venues, plus its three new generation convention centres – Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre, Tākina Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre and the New Zealand International Convention Centre in Auckland – ready to talk to Australian and Asia Pacific organisers about hosting their business event.

Even with borders closed New Zealand received interest from Australian and Asia Pacific incentive organisers and continued to bid for and win international conferences including The International Coral Reef Society’s Symposium in Auckland in 2025, The International Congress of History of Science and Technology in Dunedin 2025 and The International Sedimentological Congress (ISC) in Wellington in 2026.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Australian event organisers are considering hosting a business event in New Zealand in the next four years, according to a survey of Australian corporate, association and not-for-profit organisers commissioned in 2021 by Tourism New Zealand’s Business Events team.

New Zealand’s strong health response, including the lowest death rate in the OECD over the past two years and its high rates of vaccination, alongside its reputation as a beautiful place to visit, will be an asset in this market.

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