Tourism New Zealand used this year’s MEETINGS to affirm its commitment to supporting and developing the country’s business events sector on a global scale by announcing a boost in funding.

The body plans to invest $34 million into international business events over a four-year period, from 2014 to 2017, with a particular focus on Australia, USA, China and South East Asia.

Acting chief executive of Tourism New Zealand, Justin Watson, said the body was “significantly up-weighting our people, our efforts and our resources to go after this important sector.”

“We recognise that having people on the ground is critical in this space to develop networks and prospecting leads and create joint-venture projects.”

The body is also working on an additional layer of its current 100% pure campaign that will highlight the knowledge economy of New Zealand and promote the country as a compelling destination for international business events.

“New Zealand as a whole needs to significantly increase its efforts in the market and we now have a genuine level of investment that will make a difference.”