Sharing New Zealand’s tourism boom into the regions will be top of the agenda at this year’s New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference (NZHIC).
The conference is the largest of its kind in New Zealand and is co-hosted by Tourism Industry Aotearoa and Horwath HTL Ltd.
“The programme is focusing strongly on how we can encourage more growth in the regions. It’s about attracting high value visitors to spend more time and money off the beaten track, which in turn makes regional hotel developments more attractive to investors,” TIA Hotel Sector Manager Sally Attfield says.
It is attended by managers and stakeholders in the New Zealand hotel sector. Last year’s conference attracted over 350 delegates, including hotel managers, investors, developers, hotel chains, government agencies, hotel industry consultants, sponsors and exhibitors.
Confirmed speakers include Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon, Tourism Holdings Ltd Chief Executive Grant Webster and Westpac Chief Economist Dominick Stephens.
High calibre speakers will also be looking at how convention centres fit into regional tourism strategies, and the challenges of finding good staff in less populated areas.
The regional focus continues into the New Zealand Hotel Industry Awards with a new award this year – Regional Employee of the Year, which will be awarded to the best operational employee working in a hotel not located in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington or Queenstown. Entries for the Awards are now open.
Horwath HTL Director Stephen Hamilton says it’s imperative that the economic benefits of the tourism boom are shared with regional New Zealand.
“Tourism supports businesses and jobs across the country, often in regions where few other opportunities exist. The hotel sector, in particular, offers a huge range of career prospects, and requirements for suppliers and support services,” he says.
The New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference takes place over two days, with Wednesday 4 July devoted to the Hotel, Technology and Property Forums. These sessions are designed for delegates to learn about operational, technology, performance and investment topics for the hotel industry.
The Forums are offered free of charge for those whose company has delegates registered to attend the plenary session on Thursday 5 July. Others must pay a small registration fee.
“We’ll be announcing more speakers shortly, but we recommend that people register as early as possible. The conference has been sold out for two of the past three years and we expect demand to be high again this year,” Ms Attfield says.
Registrations for the conference are now open, visit www.nzhotelconference.com to secure your ticket.