A warm Māori welcome on this chilly morning signalled the beginning of tourism's biggest event.

Trenz, a tourism industry event that is expected to bring more than 1500 delegates to Rotorua, starts today.

Almost three years have gone by since Trenz was last in Rotorua, which takes place at the Energy Events Center and is run by Tourism Industry Aotearoa.

This morning delegates were formally welcomed into Rotorua by Ngāti Whakaue at Tama te Kapua Marae in Ohinemutu.

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Ngāti Whakaue wahine at Tama te Kapua Marae welcoming delegates for Trenz to Rotorua. Photo / Stephen Parker
Ngāti Whakaue wahine at Tama te Kapua Marae welcoming delegates for Trenz to Rotorua. Photo / Stephen Parker

Waiariki MP Tamati Coffey, Mayor Steve Chadwick and kaumatua Monty Morrison were all part of the pōhiri that welcomed the manuhiri (guests).

The event is attended by 386 buyers, up from 383 last year, who will engage in networking and meetings with about 300 of the country's leading tourism operators (known as sellers).

Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts accepts the wero from Ngāti Whakaue. Photo / Stephen Parker
Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts accepts the wero from Ngāti Whakaue. Photo / Stephen Parker

Tourism Industry Aotearoa's chief executive Chris Roberts said the event helps to grow New Zealand's $39.1 billion tourism industry.

"This week 1500 attendees will be housed, fed and entertained in the city, and hundreds of thousands of dollars will be spent putting on all the TRENZ events.

"This is the biggest event on the tourism industry calendar and it's going to solidify Rotorua's reputation as an attractive destination for international travel and business."

Roberts described Trenz as "business speed dating," with more than 15,000 meetings expected to be held between buyers and tourism operators over the next three days at the Energy Events Centre.

Rotorua Economic Development chief executive Michelle Templer told the Rotorua Daily Post last week she estimated a total of 5361 nights booked for Trenz.

"Generating millions of dollars of direct revenue and many more millions of dollars of additional business over the next 12 months."

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