Following the formation of New Zealand’s new coalition government, announced today, the business events industry is calling for all-of-government recognition for the sector.
Business Events Industry Aotearoa Chief Executive, Lisa Hopkins says the industry straddles a broad variety of ministerial portfolios.
“New Zealand’s business events industry impacts not just tourism, but diverse industries and government departments. Our sector has immense potential to influence New Zealand’s economic and social indicators, and our global reputation as an exceptional world-class destination,” she says.
“We want to work with government to support the sector, enabling it to increase its reach and potential, but, most importantly, realise the positive impact the sector plays in delivering outcomes for New Zealand and New Zealanders.
“We have a comprehensive briefing document for the incoming Ministers and we welcome Matt Doocey as the new Minister for Tourism and Hospitality, along with Melissa Lee – Economic Development Minister, Todd McClay – Trade Minister, and Erica Stanford – Immigration Minister.
“While BEIA recognises it plays a critical role within the tourism ecosystem, our association will proactively engage with Ministers and their policy advisors of many portfolios, including Trade, Immigration, Foreign Affairs, Health, and Economic Development.
Business Events is one of Tourism New Zealand’s top four strategic markets.
“As an economic driver, business events deliver investment, jobs, and economic growth. Within the tourism fraternity, it provides an opportunity and a reason to visit New Zealand as part of the visitor economy, providing a welcome counter cycle of seasonality to leisure tourism. The sector significantly contributes to other industries, namely hospitality, retail, and transportation,” Hopkins says.
BEIA is calling for sustainable funding through application of a visitor levy for distribution across the visitor economy, including business events.
“New investment is also needed to secure international conferences for New Zealand. As the world’s last developed nation to unveil a range of state-of-the-art, eco-friendly centres, we are setting the benchmark for others, but we are playing on a global stage which requires support. The returns, however, are significant.”
“There is also an urgent need for Minister Doocey to step in and provide direction and support to the TDLG (Tourism Data Leadership Group), to ensure our industry is measured accurately to reflect its value.
“As well, we look forward to continuing the good mahi (work) done to date with Immigration, as we collaborate on a process to streamline access to New Zealand for attendees from non-visa waivered countries. This is an excellent example of government and industry working together to find a solution,” Hopkins says.