Major sporting, arts and cultural events are set to bring in thousands of visitors to the Auckland region, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) says.
The organisation today announced that Auckland will host 27 major events over the next 12 months, including the World Masters Games 2017 and three matches in the British & Irish Lions series, as part of a strategy to pull in tens of thousands of local and international visitors to the region.
The other events include the debut New Zealand Flower & Garden Show; Auckland's cultural favourites Diwali, Pasifika and the Auckland Lantern Festival; the second edition of the Tamaki Herenga Waka Festival; the ITM Auckland SuperSprint V8 Supercars at Pukekohe and the NRL Auckland Nines.
"Our local and home-grown events will be a wonderful complement to the biggest multi-sport event in the world and an old-school international rugby tour," says Mayor Len Brown.
"We can expect to welcome about 25,000 athletes to Auckland for the World Masters Games, as well as their supporters and other spectators, while the 2005 Lions tour brought nearly 20,000 visitors to Auckland. That's tens of thousands of people staying in our hotels, eating and drinking in our restaurants, and buying products in our shops, supporting local businesses and jobs."
Mr Brown said Auckland's Major Events Portfolio was an investment made on behalf of the council with the aim of bringing new money into the Auckland economy and enhance the city's reputation as "an interesting, dynamic and vibrant place".
Since Auckland's Major Events Strategy was approved by Auckland Council in 2011, Ateed-sponsored major events have contributed $204 million to the regional economy and 1,265,000 visitor nights, he said.
Ateed chief executive, Brett O'Riley said the organisation was midway through the cope of the 10-year strategy.
"Since it was implemented, Auckland has gained a reputation as a world-class events city," Mr O'Riley said.
"It's important we challenge ourselves and ask how major events can play a greater role than they currently do in achieving lasting outcomes for Auckland and Aucklanders."
Ateed will confirm an updated strategy later in the year.