Air New Zealand will fly international conference organisers here for nothing so they can inspect event venues, the airline announced today.
The conference support programme aims to grow the number of conference bids won by New Zealand event organisers.
Under the programme Air New Zealand will provide return travel to New Zealand for up to two overseas organisers for pre-event site inspections and will also offer discounted fares for conference delegates.
The free travel offer will be restricted to conferences that are expected to attract at least 150 international participants and will be redeemed only when New Zealand has been confirmed as the conference location, the airline said.
Air New Zealand chief commercial and sales officer Cam Wallace said the conference market was important as it provided an opportunity to address seasonal fluctuations in the tourism industry.
According to the airline 70 per cent of conference visitors to New Zealand arrive between April and November, outside of the peak tourist months.
Wallace said Air New Zealand had worked with Tourism NZ and Conventions & Incentives NZ to fly in and host more than 120 international buyers to the Meetings conference industry event, in Auckland this week.
"The Air New Zealand conference support programme takes this industry collaboration to the next level and we look forward to working with other New Zealand businesses to help to secure more conferences and attract more delegates to New Zealand," he said.