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Air New Zealand has launched a programme to attract more international conferences to New Zealand.

Launched today (June 18) at the Meetings 2014 trade show in Auckland, the Air New Zealand Conference Support Programme aims to grow the number of conference bids won for New Zealand by working in partnership with conference organisers.

Under the programme, Air New Zealand will support travel to New Zealand for pre-event site inspections and offer discounted travel rates to New Zealand for conference delegates and their companions.

Air New Zealand will give preference to applications for the Conference Support Programme for events taking place outside of the peak tourist months.

Air New Zealand Chief Commercial and Sales Officer Cam Wallace says the meetings and conferences sector is an important one and the airline is focussed on working with the industry to further stimulate growth.

“Air New Zealand has been the principal sponsor of the annual Meetings event for several years and this year we have worked with Tourism New Zealand and CINZ to fly in and host more than 120 international buyers from Australia, USA, China, Hong Kong and Japan for this event,” he said.

“The Air New Zealand Conference Support Programme takes this industry collaboration to the next level and we look forward to working with other New Zealand businesses to help to secure more conferences and attract more delegates to New Zealand,” Wallace said.

The Tourism Industry Association led Tourism 2025 framework for growth identified reducing seasonality as one of the key pillars to increasing productivity in the tourism industry. The conference market is a great opportunity to address seasonality with 70 percent of conference visitors to New Zealand arriving between April and November each year.

Applications for Air New Zealand’s Conference Support Programme open from 1 July 2014.

Over the next two days at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland, Meetings 2014 will play host to 620 PCOs from across Asia-Pacific and 185 New Zealand exhibitors who will get together for over 6,000 scheduled meetings.

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James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management