Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) suggests the move to a more restricted Level 2 for regions outside of Auckland will make additional support crucial for the country’s business events industry.
Under Level 2 from 8 September, gatherings outside of Auckland will need to be under 50 persons in a defined space, down from 100 in previous guidelines. Mask-wearing will be mandatory and all attendees will need to scan in for contact tracing.
BEIA chief executive, Lisa Hopkins (pictured), said: “While Auckland is in Alert Level 4 or at Level 3, operating a business event on any scale is significantly more challenging for all regions. It is now time for the Government to look at business events specifically, and not just as a sector that may receive benefit from other support programmes put in place for regional tourism organisations, major events or tourism.
Hopkins continued: “Our ask is that the Government continues with the Resurgence Subsidy Programme, not as a one-off, but as on-going support. As the safest and most controlled form of gathering, the business events industry is not only a significant economic contributor to New Zealand. Business events are a key driver within the local economy, using local restaurants, staying in city hotels mid-week, and visiting local tourism attractions.
Hopkins added: “In May this year, BEIA collaborated with the Events and Venues Association of New Zealand (EVANZ) to develop the Level 2 Framework to address this very issue of operating larger numbers under Level 2 safely, to ensure we could continue to operate at sustainable levels. We believe we have been ahead of the pack, even ahead of Government, on this.
“We need clarity on the future intent. We are looking for measures and other key indicators so that we can understand when we may be able to get back to Alert Level 1. Given the industry’s contribution to hospitality and tourism, it is imperative for these sectors to also have insight into how this sector will be able to provide support in the future.”