Why Auckland?

By Gemma Wood, Advocate Programme & Associations Manager, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and Anna Hayward, Head of Auckland Convention Bureau

Many countries have been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. How is Auckland currently dealing with this crisis?

  • As the economic development agency for Auckland, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), had already developed the Destination AKL 2025 Strategy, which set the new direction for the development of the region as a global destination for domestic and international travellers. The Strategy provided the foundation for the subsequent creation of the Destination Auckland Recovery Plan, which outlines the steps Auckland is taking to kick-start our visitor economy. A copy of the Destination Auckland Recovery Plan can be found here.
  • The Recovery Plan was endorsed by our industry partners and Auckland’s Industry Leaders Group, which is made up of representatives from across various sectors as well as Central Government. The Plan was also endorsed by Auckland’s Mayor.
  • An example of one of the immediate actions we took when the pandemic hit was to refocus our Go with Tourism programme. It was originally designed to address the shortage of Tourism workforce, encourage youngsters to consider a career in the industry and connect talent with potential employers. In March 2020, Go with Tourism changed focus to assist displaced industry workers find alternative employment.

The MICE industry is also struggling during these difficult times. How do you think this will change our industry, and what measures can be taken, in your opinion?

  • Maintaining relationships and supporting key client groups and our industry to help them reorganize their business – secure new dates, resized meetings, what’s possible what’s not, safety practices and understanding the changing government guidelines
  • We found clients also need help to navigate the new hybrid offering to host events and understand the digital platforms that support moving to a hybrid event
  • Mobilizing our local influencers to continue to highlight the value of hosting business events in Auckland (e.g. our Ambassador Programme, the Auckland Advocate Alliance, business entrepreneurs, and our international advisory group)

Did you know, that…?

  • Auckland is a unique, youthful and energetic city, the economic powerhouse of New Zealand, has a rich culture and is home to over 220 different ethnic communities and a population of 1.6m
  • Auckland is undergoing huge infrastructure developments and includes work to provide an accessible, people-centric, and vibrant city centre.  Several significant projects – when complete – will open up new spaces for residents and visitors to enjoy – a safer, greener and more people-friendly Auckland. A significant piece of infrastructure is the construction of New Zealand International Convention Centre which is currently underway
  • Residents from 60 countries globally do not need to apply for a visa into New Zealand
  • 3rd most liveable city in the world – source: Mercer Quality of Living Survey 2019
  • University of Auckland was ranked in the top 100 universities in 2020

Where to meet?

  • The New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) is presently under construction. The NZICC will boost capacity for large events up to 2,850 theatre style with a total capacity of 4000 pax, and will be Asia Pacific’s first carbon neutral convention centre, located in the heart of the city.  The Auckland Convention Bureau is working with clients to secure business events and conferences from the second half of 2023 and beyond
  • Aotea Centre, also located in the city centre, has recently completed a full refurbishment and has a history of hosting congresses. It currently houses New Zealand’s largest modern tiered auditorium with seating for more than 2,000 delegates
  • Bespoke venue options and hotel offerings – whether you choose a formal sit-down banquet or a spectacular cocktail function, Auckland has a wide range of venues to delight and provide an impressive location for your delegates to gather

Where to stay?

  • Auckland offers more than 7,000 accommodation rooms in the central business district
  • In the last quarter of 2020, three five-star hotels opened their doors, including the Park Hyatt (195 rooms), The Hotel Britomart, which is New Zealand's first 5 Green Star hotel (99 rooms), and QT Auckland (150 rooms)
  • Delegates really get to feel a “sense of place” because everything is in close proximity and within walking distance from hotels, to convention centres and to sharing experiences with locals

How to get there?

  • Auckland (pre-COVID) is New Zealand’s most connected city and welcomed direct flights from 44 destinations globally, with 29 international airlines flying direct, equating to 540+ weekly flights connecting Auckland to the world

Do you offer any special services/assistance for associations?

  • Auckland Convention Bureau is uniquely part of Auckland’s economic development agency – Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), and has provided support and assistance to many associations and local hosts over the years.  Our experienced team is here to assist with a range of support from financial feasibility, site inspections, sourcing and planning, all aspects of answering RFPs and bid documentation, and access to ongoing promotional and marketing support services from bidding to delegate marketing leading up to the event and beyond
  • Our team is here to assist local hosts, professional conference organisers and associations to deliver an unparalleled experience that is sure to surprise and delight delegates

Personal recommendation/insider tips?

  • There’s so much to experience both within and outside of the city... The impact of considering a bucket list destination such as Auckland is that the biggest difficulty you will face is the choice of where to eat and what to do.
  • As soon as you set foot here you will feel the warmth of our manaakitanga (our hospitality) and this will continue throughout your stay. Every interaction will be a truly genuine experience. As well as enjoying our manaakitanga, ensure you spend time either on the water, or enjoying adrenaline-fuelled adventures, and explore the region's diverse natural beauty and the best of the cosmopolitan city's shopping, dining, and unique culture.


  • Experience unique Māori cultural experiences
  • Match racing against delegates on an America's Cup sailing yacht
  • Power up your adrenaline with New Zealand’s only ocean touch bungy
  • Sample award-winning wine on the stunning Waiheke Island
  • Explore the diverse landscapes of the rugged west coast
  • Food is a universal language and there’s something for every taste bud in Auckland. Our organization has worked with the food industry to develop “Iconic Auckland Eats” as there is no one dish that reflects Auckland’s cuisine: To find out more, please click https://www.aucklandnz.com/elementalfestival/events/iconic-auckland-eats

Whom to contact?

Gemma Wood
Advocate Programme & Associations Manager
E: gemma.wood@aucklandnz.com
W: aucklandnz.com/meet