The national conference of the Tourism Export Council of New Zealand is headed to Taranaki in 2020, after the region emerged the frontrunners in a nationwide competitive bid process.

It is the first time the influential organisation – the national body of the agents who connect New Zealand tourism experiences and activities to overseas travel companies - has visited Taranaki in over 20 years, and Venture Taranaki have teamed up with local accommodation providers and visitor industry operators to develop a conference programme that showcases the region.
“The members of the Tourism Export Council represent a vital connection between our region and the global tourism markets. Bringing this event to Taranaki is an important win for our emerging visitor industry and the profile of our region,” says Venture Taranaki Chief Executive Justine Gilliland.
“The region offers a very different visitor experience to that of 1999, when the conference was last held here. We’re seeing much stronger visitor growth in visitor numbers and accolades like the Lonely Planet Best in Travel award in 2017 have really helped position us as a great regional destination.”
Annual guest nights in commercial accommodation in Taranaki have grown from 214,437 in 1999 to 667,650 in the year to March 2019, according to the StatsNZ Commercial Accommodation Monitor. 
“The conference presents a great opportunity to showcase Taranaki and promote the region to delegates who are active in selling New Zealand to international high-value visitor markets,” Justine says.
Venture Taranaki’s General Manager of Marketing and Tourism Vicki Fairley noted the region had a fantastic itinerary planned.
“We will ensure conference delegates get to see the best of the region, and discover Taranaki’s top-quality food, creativity and beauty,” Vicki said.
“The region’s uniquely iconic WOMAD event will provide the theme for the conference gala dinner, and delegates will have the opportunity to experience a range of regional attractions and activities.”
The Tourism Export Council was established in 1971 as the national body of the New Zealand inbound tourism industry and provides a vital connection between tour operators and domestic tourism operators and suppliers.
“The Tourism Export Council of New Zealand is extremely excited to be returning to Taranaki for our 2020 conference as it also aligns well with our regional growth priority. We look forward to contributing to the region's growing visitor economy by showcasing its best to key tourism operators across the country” says TECNZ Chief Executive Judy Chen.
Venture Taranaki partners with a wide range of sectors, enterprises and local clubs and associations to help bid for and secure business, conference and national events to the region.
“Business, corporate and event travel remains an important element of our visitor economy and presents us with a strong opportunity to shift perceptions of the region and plant the seed for a longer repeat visit,” Vicki added.
“In this instance, the variety of trade-ready tourism product offerings, the region’s focus on sustainable tourism and our enthusiastic bid helped to get us over the line.”
The 2020 TECNZ Tourism Conference comes to Taranaki in August next year.