NZ popular for Australian meetings, events, and conferences

New Zealand has taken the top spot as the most popular international destination for Australia for meetings, events, and conferences in the 2023 calendar year, according to new data from business travel firm FCM.

Keeley Alton, general manager corporate brands at Flight Centre Travel Group says that four months into 2023 “we’ve already seen that the way Aussie views NZ as a business destination has changed compared to 2022. The most desired destinations for Aussie business leaders has shifted back to previous favourites such as New Zealand”.

“When the borders first opened, business travellers jumped at the chance at being able reach far away destinations again. It’s telling that rather than cancel meetings and events, corporates looked to alternative destinations and venues last year that went against the norm – it really shows that after being apart for so long, people were desperate to get back to networking in person.”

She says that now that borders have been open for more than a year  “we’re seeing business travellers start returning to more normal travel behaviours and be more open to coming to New Zealand”.

Business travel has long been profitable for New Zealand, FCM says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, says convention and conference delegates spent an estimated $455 million in New Zealand in 2019.

Alton says that “with predictions of a recession, any way we can add to our local economy and reach multiple industries is something to be embraced.”  A renewed interest in business travel in New Zealand, means different sectors will benefit – hospitality, retail, transportation and entertainment.

Alton adds that with restrictions gone, travellers are feeling more confident and less stressed with the removal of testing and quarantine conditions.

“With budgets ready and no concerns about interruptions or cancellations, corporates are booking events throughout 2023 and 2024. Significantly more events are being planned for than in 2019, with the true value of in-person interaction coming back into focus… ” she says

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