New Zealand

Post-COVID events strategy a massive boost for Auckland

Program’s success to form blueprint for future event-based calendars

The crucial role the 10 events taking place in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland from July to October, and their impact in rebooting the city’s visitor economy will form the basis  of a review into how Tātaki Auckland Unlimited approaches and funds future event-based activity.

The 10 events, which were supported by Tātaki Auckland Unlimited on behalf of Auckland Council attracted a total  live audience of 517,000 people, generated an estimated 167,000 visitor nights and  injected $18.7 million into the region’s economy, numbers Tātaki Auckland Unlimited Head of Major Events, Chris Simpson said sent a strong signal about Aucklanders’ and visitors’ appetite for events across the region.

Our latest AccomNews print issue is available now! Read it HERE

“Events lift people’s spirits and wellbeing, and that brings significant social benefits,” he said.

“Families are out and about, friends get together to enjoy a gig and communities get involved.

“What’s more, you cannot put a value on the global exposure and profile this gives our region. For example, next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup is expected to attract an international audience of two billion.

“The financial benefits also extend to a wide range of businesses including accommodation providers, the hospitality sector, transport operators, tourism operators, security firms, catering and cleaning businesses.

With the goal to minimise the dependency on Auckland’s ratepayers, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited is exploring international best practise funding models, including with the private sector.

This will support major events the organisation delivers, invests in and attracts to Tāmaki Makaurau.

“There is no one solution to the financial challenges that the events sector is facing – it will take support from a range of industry partners and local and central government to ensure Auckland remains competitive in the international market and secures and develops world-class events for our region and New Zealand,” Mr Simpson said.

From 2018 to March 2020, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development – now part of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited – received funding for destination marketing activities through Auckland Council’s collection of the Accommodation Provider Targeted Rate.

In September 2020, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited received $17 million of the Government’s Regional Events Fund designed to stimulate tourism and travel between regions through events.

The Regional Events Fund is in place until December 2024, with just $1.8 million of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited’s funding as yet uncommitted.

Mr Simpson said many other global destinations have significantly increased their investment in events, recognising their value to regional economic recovery and GDP while acknowledging the changed landscape with increased costs impacting international federations and event organisers – from hosting fees to commercial and compliance expectations, plus freight and event delivery.  

 For this reason, he said, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited is reviewing how the organisation approaches and funds event content, including the potential for increased ownership through a more targeted seasonal strategy.

“These priority events will generate their own traditional commercial event revenue, such as sponsorship and ticketing – providing long term sustainability, as well as drive domestic and international visitors to our region at specific times of the year,” he said.

Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is bracing for a busy summer with a number of free and ticketed events taking place across the region.

These range from the Auckland Lantern Festival to superstar music acts including Elton John, Guns N’ Roses and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, top international sports action including the ASB Classic, the USA v Football Ferns international and the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Play-off Tournament, and the Aotearoa Art Fair. 

One of the biggest drawcards will be the ‘ Renaissance: The Age of Genius’ exhibition direct from Europe, bringing to life 500 works of the most recognised Renaissance artists using the latest multimedia technology.

 “Most of these amazing events had funding confirmed prior to the pandemic and are only now being delivered,” Mr Simpson said.

“But while we are experiencing an abundance of events currently, we will have gaps in the calendar if we are unable to secure the required funding to support our major and business events portfolio beyond next year.” 


Related Articles

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Back to top button
WP Tumblr Auto Publish Powered By :
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x