“This will be a fantastic new facility for New Zealand, and it’s great to see it’s already attracting international conferences,” says Mr Bridges.
“When completed the NZICC is projected to inject $90 million dollars into Auckland’s economy annually and the city is already benefiting. To date over 1280 people have worked on the project.
“Today’s announcement is confirmation that New Zealand’s proven track record of hosting high-quality international events makes us an attractive place for significant international conferences. Up until now our capacity to do so has been limited by the size of our facilities, with NZICC that’s changing.”
Two ophthalmology conferences held by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness will see thousands of eye care professionals and researchers from around the world come to Auckland.
“Initial estimates from Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development indicate the conferences will provide 15,000 room nights and some $11 million in economic benefit to the city,” says Mr Bridges.
“This doesn’t include any gains from conference attendees who decide to stay on and explore other parts of New Zealand.”
Mr Bridges says Tourism New Zealand, the Auckland Convention Bureau and the New Zealand International Convention Centre put together impressive bids, competing against other countries to bring the conferences to Auckland.
“All in all, these first bookings are great news for the Auckland and New Zealand economies and shows the promise of NZICC for the future.”
First major conference bookings for New Zealand International Convention Centre unveiled
The first bookings have been secured at the New Zealand International Convention Centre, with Auckland winning the bids to host two large-scale international medical conferences in 2020.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) will hold back-to-back conferences at the NZICC spanning five days.
The 35th APAO Congress will be the biggest medical meeting to ever be held in New Zealand, with an estimated 4,000 medical professionals and researchers from around the world coming to Auckland to discuss the study and treatment of disorders and diseases of the eye.
This will be followed by the IAPB 11th General Assembly, where 2,000 eye care providers, International Non-Governmental Organisations, UN bodies and others involved in the fight against avoidable blindness and visual impairment will meet in Auckland to share information and exchange ideas. The events will deliver significant economic benefit to the country including an estimated 15,000 room nights and some $11 million in economic benefit to the city.
Auckland Convention Bureau – a division of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) – worked with RANZCO, APAO and IAPB, along with NZICC and Tourism New Zealand, to win the conferences. Brett O’Riley, Chief Executive of ATEED says securing international conferences of this scale and prestige demonstrates that Auckland is a world-class business events destination.
“The development of NZICC has meant Auckland is now able to compete internationally for these larger scale conference and association meetings,” he says.
“The benefits of hosting conferences of this calibre are far-reaching. Beyond the obvious economic value, they bring people together to exchange ideas, build new relationships, and over the longer term can attract investment and talent flows.”
Callum Mallett, General Manager NZICC Operations, says the news is fantastic for Auckland and New Zealand.
“We’re delighted that our new convention centre has attracted two major international meetings of this calibre. The NZICC will be a world-class facility and a beautiful venue in which to meet and network in the heart of downtown Auckland,” he says.
RANZCO Chief Executive Dr. David Andrews says this was the first time the organisations have been able to come together to bid for these events to be held in New Zealand.
“We are looking forward to coming together in one venue to collaborate and to discuss research, cutting-edge technology, and some of the latest in clinical and scientific ideas. And of course, explore some of Auckland while we’re here,” he says.
“The Asia-Pacific region alone has more than 180 million people who are visually impaired. Ophthalmologists have an important role to play in the fight against preventable blindness.”
Lisa Gardiner, Manager Business Events and Premium, Tourism New Zealand says this win is a great example of the business events sector working collaboratively to secure another international conference for New Zealand.
“International business events contribute millions to the economy every year and allow New Zealand the opportunity to showcase the world class event offering we have,” she says.