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Tourism New Zealand backs science community in securing conferences

Tourism New Zealand backs science community in securing conferences
September 23, 2018

New Zealand’s leading role in global science is being aided by Tourism New Zealand in securing  international conferences.

Since 2014, Tourism New Zealand has helped the country’s science community to secure 112 science-related conferences, adding $138 million to the economy.

Several of these conferences have never been held in the Southern Hemisphere before.

Professor Craig Cary of the University of Waikato says New Zealand’s approach to conference bids “blitzes” the competition. He was an integral part of the teams that recently secured the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research Biology Symposium in Christchurch, the 8th International Conference on Polar and Alpine Microbiology in Hamilton, and the 18th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology in 2020 in Auckland - three events that will bring thousands of the world’s leading researchers to New Zealand.

Professor Cary advised “to secure these international conferences we really need to do more (than our Northern Hemisphere counterparts). Tourism New Zealand makes it easy - it makes us look so good. In the space of 18 months we secured three major scientific conferences that have never been held in New Zealand before - that is unheard of. We couldn’t have done it without Tourism New Zealand’s assistance. The production values in the way they approach business event bids is very high, and showcases our work, our knowledge, and our regions. It’s done right.

"We anticipate registrations from more than 20 countries for the International Conference on Polar and Alpine Microbiology in Hamilton. This allows us to accentuate the profile of the Waikato as a hub of science in New Zealand and showcase our region."

Tourism New Zealand has recently partnered with the Kudos Science Awards Trust, based in Hamilton, to further promote the science community and scientific business events potential in the region.

Established in 2007, the Kudos Science Awards Trust is New Zealand’s sole regional scientific awards programme, recognising the achievements of the Waikato’s top scientists, and supporting ongoing research. Professor Cary is a Kudos Science Awards recipient.

Tourism New Zealand’s Global Manager Business Events Anna Fennessy says Hamilton is gaining an international reputation for scientific research and is the fourth largest region for business events behind Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch (year ended June 2018).

Fennessy explains "New Zealand is renowned for its scientific innovation and research and is increasingly becoming recognised as a preferred location for scientific conferences and business events with superb service and support, world-leading knowledge hubs, and one-of-a-kind locations that incorporate business facilities, culture, entertainment, and cuisine. Business events bring economic benefits to a region, with delegates spending more than the average visitor and exploring the area. Business events also support our strategy to grow shoulder visitation with many of these events being held in shoulder seasons.”

Since 2016 Tourism New Zealand has supported 17 Waikato-based international conferences through its Conference Assistance Programme and delegate marketing programmes. Nine of the 11 international conferences won were science-related (81%).

Professor Ross Lawrenson, Chairperson of The Kudos Science Awards Trust adds “(the) Trust is very pleased to have the support from Tourism New Zealand. Our organisation has highlighted the contribution that science has made to this region’s economy and with the help of Tourism New Zealand we see the opportunity to showcase the innovation in our region to a national and international audience.”

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