New Zealand’s successful congress bid streak is continuing! The University of Waikato and Hamilton, Hamilton & Waikato Tourism, and Tourism New Zealand have been able to secure the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) conference for June 2019!

Tourism New Zealand works with a number of different national entities such as universities and regional convention bureaus to secure conferences and congresses such as NAISA. Over the past 4 years, these cooperations have brought over $300 million to the New Zealand economy and around 100,000 visitors.

Visitors attending conferences/congresses in New Zealand are extremely important for the national economy. “A delegate attending a business event was worth twice as much of a leisure traveller to the region, with an average delegate per night value of $350 per night for international delegates and $509 per night for domestic delegates,” explains Jason Dawson, CEO of Hamilton & Waikato Tourism.

While all events hosted are a huge success, the annual NAISA conference is a massive win for New Zealand. This is the first time the conference will be held outside of the US or Canada. Leading up to and following the conference, the region will be put on the international stage as a cultural and indigenous studies hub.

Lisa Gardiner, Business Events and Premium Manager of Tourism New Zealand says, “Waikato’s strong cultural links, activities and the University’s indigenous studies expertise was a winning combo and convinced the event organisers to bring the conference to New Zealand for the first time.”

Ms. Gardiner continues,“Events like this are fantastic for the country for a number of reasons, they get visitors into the regions and during off peak times, they put New Zealand on the world stage as leaders in a range of fields and they deliver significant economic benefits for local communities.”

Brendan Hokowhitu, University of Waikato Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies, is excited for the event. He notes, “Hamilton and Waikato is now the third largest region behind Auckland and Wellington for conventions, meetings and business events for the year ending March 2017 (MBIE Convention Activity Survey, Year End March 2017).” Mr. Hokowhitu also hopes that following a positive experience in Waikato, attendees will be more likely to return to New Zealand in the future for vacation.

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Leonie Ashford
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