International Congress and Convention Association's (ICCA) ranking for the busiest MICE cities in Australasia is out, and New Zealand's Auckland made it into the top three, replacing Australia's Brisbane.
Auckland, which is New Zealand's largest city, hosted 39 international association events in 2018 that meet ICCA's criteria. This puts Auckland now in the third position, just behind Australia's Sydney and Melbourne, which are in the first and second places respectively. When considering all cities in the Asia-Pacific region, however, Auckland comes in at 17th.
Anna Hayward, head of Auckland Convention Bureau, said it's fantastic to see Auckland featuring in the top three ICCA rankings for Australasia. "Auckland's business events industry has been working hard to promote the region as a premium international business events destination and this ranking highlights our growing popularity. It's an exciting time for Auckland, we are getting closer by the day to the completion of the New Zealand International Convention Centre, there remains a solid pipeline of investment in infrastructure to support the visitor economy, as well as strong pool of professionals supporting events here."
Adding to the business events offering this year is the opening of the Domes at Auckland Zoo, a unique event venue that caters for up to 350 delegates. Then there is the refurbished Aotea Centre, Auckland's leading performing arts and events hub.
In terms of accommodation, a new Park Hyatt will open next month. Brands like InterContinental and Ritz Carlton will also add over 4,000 hotel rooms to the city within the next five years.
The highlight, however, is going to be the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC), dubbed by Hayward as a 'game-changer'. The Centre will have a capacity of 4,000 people for one-off events, or 3,000 people for conferences, exhibitions or dinners. Its 32,500sqm of floor space will be New Zealand's largest purpose-built convention centre when it opens in 2020.