Dunedin to host international religion congress in 2020
The five day international conference will attract up to 600 delegates to the city in the off peak season, generating up to 3000 room nights and an estimated $1 million to the local economy.
The Congress will be held at the University of Otago and members of staff in the Religion programme will run the conference on behalf of official hosts, the New Zealand Association for the Study of Religion.
Associate Professor Will Sweetman championed the bid and said he hopes the congress will create a lasting legacy for the New Zealand Association for the Study of Religion.
“Hosting the IAHR World Congress in 2020 gives us a wonderful opportunity to bring outstanding scholars of religion from all over the world to New Zealand, as well as to showcase the work of staff and students in Religious Studies programmes in New Zealand,” he said.
On the process of winning this conference Sweetman said: “We would not have won this bid without the Tourism NZ Conference Assistance program and Enterprise Dunedin. The staff were fantastic, and helped us to produce a professional and convincing bid document. The Executive Committee of the IAHR were impressed by the strong support offered by the City of Dunedin and the University of Otago.”
It will be the first time this conference has been held in New Zealand and will coincide with the New Zealand Association for the Study of Religion’s 50th anniversary in 2020.
The university’s global profile continues to be a factor in attracting international conferences to Dunedin, says Enterprise Dunedin business events tourism advisor Bree Jones.
“Promoting Dunedin and New Zealand as a knowledge centre continues pay dividends, as it gives us a unique proposition globally. These conferences deliver vital economic benefits to our city and surrounding regions as they bring high yield delegates during our off peak season,” she said.