More than 300 international experts are expected to travel to Auckland in 2016 after a successful joint bid to host the 2016 International Radiation Symposium (IRS).

The prestigious symposium is held quadrenially by the International Radiation Commission (IRC), a global network of scientists engaged in research of atmospheric radiation and related disciplines.

Buckley-Glavish professor of climate physics, Dr Roger Davies, and the University of Auckland worked with the Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) – part of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) – and Tourism New Zealand’s Conference Assistance Programme (CAP) to secure hosting rights.

Dr Davies presented the bid to the IRC in Moscow, Russia in August, securing the symposium for Auckland over a bid from Valladolid, Spain. He says experts at the forefront of a field that includes satellite remote sensing, climate physics, clouds, aerosols, and ultraviolet radiation are expected to travel to Auckland for the symposium.

“Securing this symposium puts the University of Auckland’s climate physics program clearly on the international stage. I am very pleased that we have been able to gain this level of peer recognition.

“We expect over 300 attendees, most of whom have never been to New Zealand, and who will undoubtedly also enjoy the experience of getting to know the city of Auckland and beyond while they are here,” Dr Davies, said.

ACB manager Anna Hayward said the five-day symposium is expected to make an estimated contribution of $562,000 to Auckland’s regional GDP, and is an example of the important role that business events play in Auckland’s economy.

“Business events like the International Radiation Symposium have an obvious economic impact for Auckland, but they also create intangibles like bringing people together to exchange knowledge and ideas, and build business relationships.

“Auckland is now well positioned to secure a larger piece of the lucrative international business events market following the launch of the Auckland Business Events Plan earlier this year.”

Tourism New Zealand international business events manager, Bjoern Spreitzer, said international events such as this provide a huge opportunity to grow the value of visitors to New Zealand and develop key sectors of the New Zealand economy.

“An important part of our work is attracting people to New Zealand for business purposes who previously might not have visited, and to help create lasting business relationships through the conference.”