The Tourism Export Council of New Zealand (TECNZ) is holding its 2024 annual conference in Southland for the first time.
The conference, which will be held in Invercargill in August, brings together industry influencers who buy and sell tourism to domestic and international visitors.
Great South GM Tourism and Events Mark Frood said the conference, came about through the mahi of local tourism operators, inbound tourism operators and Great south.
“These are our most important advocates in a tourism sense, so it’s very exciting and an opportunity we intend to make the most of.”
“We’ll be showcasing our region’s stories, what’s new: the Invercargill city centre, innovations, foods, beverages, and visitor experiences, all mixed in with our world-famous Southern hospitality.”
TECNZ Chief Executive Lynda Keene said the TECNZ Board had been keeping its eye on the Southland and Fiordland regions with existing and new product and experiences.
“When we learnt the region was bringing online two new hotels in the next 12-24 months, there was immediate interest to consider Invercargill as a destination for our annual conference, so it provides Inbound Tour Operators (ITOs) a chance to see how the region has evolved over the last few years so the region can be promoted more actively to offshore markets. ITOs bring in over 55% of all international visitors to NZ.”
Great South had been proactive in promoting the region to the TECNZ Board over the past two years, she said.
“We don’t normally announce conference destinations two years in advance but felt the team and region were deserving due to its work and new hotels being built. ITOs are always looking for new visitor products and experiences and the region is really coming into its own. We’re excited and look forward to working with the Great South team over the next year to develop an exciting conference program for delegates.”