Postponement of 2020 TECNZ Conference, to be held in Taranaki

Late last year, Taranaki was excited to win the bid to be the host region for the national conference of the Tourism Export Council of New Zealand (TECNZ), which was to be held over two days in August 2020 at The Devon Hotel. However, earlier this week the TECNZ board made the decision to postpone the conference until 2021, in line with the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 recommendations regarding events and public gatherings.
 
The TECNZ national conference is an annual event, hosted by a different New Zealand region each year. The last time Taranaki played host for the conference was 1999. Graciously, the TECNZ board have agreed to keep Taranaki as the host for the 2021 conference, in what will be the 50th year of the event. 
 
“We are in an unfortunate position where we have to postpone the 2020 TECNZ conference. It is disappointing to make this decision, but we look forward to showcasing the Taranaki region and reconnecting our members together to celebrate TECNZ’s 50th conference anniversary in 2021”, says Lynda Keene, Chief Executive of TECNZ.
 
Attendance numbers for the conference can reach anywhere between 220 to 320 travel trade personnel and key product suppliers, who connect New Zealand tourism experiences and activities to overseas travel companies. Hosting the event in Taranaki provides the opportunity to profile the region globally through these linkages.
 
Venture Taranaki plan to team up with local accommodation providers and visitor industry operators to develop a conference programme that showcases the region and encourages delegates to come earlier or stay later to experience our fantastic tourism products.
 
“Venture Taranaki is very pleased to be able to support the TECNZ 50th anniversary conference in 2021. We look forward to the conference showcasing both the amazing destination Taranaki offers, and what ‘reimagined’, regenerative tourism looks like for New Zealand,” says Venture Taranaki Chief Executive, Justine Gilliland.
 
Managing Director of The Devon Hotel Peter Tennent is equally as enthusiastic that the 2021 conference will remain in Taranaki. “To have the industry’s key players in Taranaki is fantastic, as our region and nation prepare to rethink promotion of ourselves to the global market. Tourism in New Zealand and around the world has taken a hit. What better time and place to get things back on track. We just need to focus on delivering the best and most productive conference TECNZ has ever had! But that will be easy. That’s what we do in Taranaki!”
 
Venture Taranaki Visitor Trade Advisor Jo Whyte emphasises the importance that the visitor trade will have in the coming years. “Welcoming the TECNZ conference delegates to the region next year will be absolutely timely as we settle into a new normality and redevelop the tourism model. After tourism being on pause, this will be an opportune time for us to show off the best of our region to those who are active in selling New Zealand to the world.”
 
The 50th TECNZ Tourism Conference will be held at The Devon Hotel in late 2021.