BEIA calls on new NZ government to implement visitor levy

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Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) is calling for all-of-government recognition for the business events industry following the formation of New Zealand’s new coalition government.

BEIA chief executive Lisa Hopkins says the industry straddles a broad variety of ministerial portfolios.

“New Zealand’s business events industry impacts not just tourism, but diverse industries and government departments. Our sector has immense potential to influence New Zealand’s economic and social indicators, and our global reputation as an exceptional world-class destination,” she said.

“We want to work with government to support the sector, enabling it to increase its reach and potential, but, most importantly, realise the positive impact the sector plays in delivering outcomes for New Zealand and New Zealanders.”

Hopkins says they have compiled a comprehensive briefing document for the incoming Ministers including new Minister for Tourism and Hospitality Matt Doocey, Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee, Trade Minister Todd McClay and Immigration Minister Erica Stanford.

“While BEIA recognises it plays a critical role within the tourism ecosystem, our association will proactively engage with Ministers and their policy advisors of many portfolios, including Trade, Immigration, Foreign Affairs, Health, and Economic Development,” said Hopkins.

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Tourism New Zealand won the ICCA 2023 Best Marketing Award for its ‘If You Seek’ business events campaign.

BEIA is also calling for sustainable funding through application of a visitor levy for distribution across the visitor economy, including business events.

“New investment is also needed to secure international conferences for New Zealand,” she said.

“As the world’s last developed nation to unveil a range of state-of-the-art, eco-friendly centres, we are setting the benchmark for others, but we are playing on a global stage which requires support. The returns, however, are significant.

“There is also an urgent need for Minister Doocey to step in and provide direction and support to the TDLG (Tourism Data Leadership Group), to ensure our industry is measured accurately to reflect its value.”

The call for greater government recognition comes as Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) recently scooped the ICCA 2023 Best Marketing Award for its ‘If You Seek’ business events campaign.

“It’s a huge achievement to win this award and the judges faced a difficult choice,” ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath said.

“But everyone was captivated by the storytelling of how TNZ takes the delegate out of the meeting space and into the heart and soul of the community.

“The idea of being somewhere that speaks to you from the outside is so evocative, and quite moving. This concept was brought to life visually, at trade shows across the world, and here in the Congress hall.”