November 30, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

Auckland has beat out Australian cities Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth to be named the best business events destination in Oceania at the World MICE Awards 2021.

The five Australian cities alongside New Zealand’s capital Wellington were all nominated for the award, which is decided by a global industry vote.

Auckland also won the award last year, the inaugural year for the awards program which is a sister event to the World Travel Awards which have been running for more than a quarter of a century.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on our city, but the things that make Auckland a fantastic destination—our incredible natural environment, people-friendly city centre and world-famous hospitality—are still here waiting to be enjoyed by domestic and international visitors once our borders start to reopen,” said Auckland’s Mayor Phil Goff.

“Coming in ahead of cities like Sydney and Melbourne as a desired destination for business events—for two years in a row and in the midst of a global pandemic—shows that our reputation remains strong and is a positive sign for our future recovery as the world starts to reopen.”

Auckland Convention Bureau Manager Ken Pereira said it was nice to receive the recognition at a challenging time for the city.

He also said there was strong interest in the city as a business events destination moving forward.

“The ACB team is securing new bookings and bidding for international bids.

“Clients both here and overseas are continuing to look to Auckland for their next business event, conference or incentive trip. This shows the desire to reconnect through face-to-face meetings and events is still there.”

“With new hotels, venues, attractions and incentive offerings being developed across Auckland, the region is getting more attention from the global business events industry, he said.

“When the time is right, we look forward to welcoming back delegates to reconnect, share knowledge, and create opportunities in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.”

Auckland is scheduled to come out of a lockdown, which has been in place since August, on at midnight on Thursday.

Events of 100 fully vaccinated attendees will be able to take place from Friday.

The rest of New Zealand will also move into the new COVID-19 Protection Framework on Friday too, at the orange level for which there is no restrictions on event numbers for fully vaccinated attendees.