Minister for Economic Development Simon Bridges has welcomed the announcement today of the first confirmed bookings for the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC).

“This will be a fantastic new facility for New Zealand, and it’s great to see it’s already attracting international conferences,” says Mr Bridges.

“When completed the NZICC is projected to inject $90 million dollars into Auckland’s economy annually and the city is already benefiting. To date over 1280 people have worked on the project.

“Today’s announcement is confirmation that New Zealand’s proven track record of hosting high quality international events makes us an attractive place for significant international conferences.  Up until now our capacity to do so has been limited by the size of our facilities, with NZICC that’s changing.”

Two ophthalmology conferences held by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness will see thousands of eye care professionals and researchers from around the world come to Auckland.

“Initial estimates from Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development indicate the conferences will provide 15,000 room nights and some $11 million in economic benefit to the city,” says Mr Bridges.

“This doesn’t include any gains from conference attendees who decide to stay on and explore other parts of New Zealand.”

Mr Bridges says Tourism New Zealand, the Auckland Convention Bureau and the New Zealand International Convention Centre put together impressive bids, competing against other countries to bring the conferences to Auckland.

“All in all, these first bookings are great news for the Auckland and New Zealand economies and shows the promise of NZICC for the future.”

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