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Christchurch ready to return as a leading business event hub

Christchurch ready to return as a leading business event hub
June 29, 2016

Tourism leaders predict that Christchurch will regain its status as one of New Zealand’s top business events hubs when its new convention centre opens in late 2019.

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism Chief Executive, Vic Allen says the new Convention and Exhibition Centre will make large international conferences possible again for Christchurch.

Allen explains “already we have significant interest in larger conferences wanting to come back to Christchurch. Now we have certainty around the project we can ramp up our conference marketing activity again.

“Pre-earthquakes Christchurch held 23% of the multi-day convention market in New Zealand and conferences were pumping around $100m a year into the Canterbury economy. In recent years our market share has recovered to 9%.

“Event organisers in Australia and around the world are ready and waiting to come back to Christchurch. Our strong working relationship with Conventions and Incentives New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand Business Events teams is helping drive conference and incentive business to the city and the wider Canterbury region.”

The purpose-designed venue will also be an economic boost for the city and an investment catalyst for new tourism development.

Allen added “conference business comes into the city in our shoulder and off season, spreads the economic benefits of tourism, and keeps hotel occupancy up throughout the year, making a compelling business case for hotel and other tourism infrastructure investment.”

Christchurch & Canterbury Convention Bureau Manager Caroline Blanchfield says the new venue will provide a massive boost for the local knowledge economy too, adding “many conferences are initiated by thought leaders in our universities, hospitals, research institutes and Canterbury’s specialist business sectors like engineering, agriculture and food production.

“These academics and business leaders want to bring specialist global audiences to conference here. It helps build their organisation’s reputation, speeds up creation of global networks and sparks new business opportunities.”

Business tourism is a major growth sector for New Zealand with international convention delegates spending an estimated $350 per night, almost twice as much as other international visitors to New Zealand. International conference delegates also have an average stay of four nights in the conference city.

Blanchfield concluded “our location in the heart of the South Island makes Christchurch an ideal international conference destination, appealing to delegates and organisers who want to make the most of their time here to explore, either before or after their conference.”

Last month Christchurch was named a Top 10 International Destination by influential US business events industry magazine, Smart Meetings.

The San Francisco-based publication called Christchurch “safe, stylish and legendary for scenery”.

Image shows the planned Christchurch Convention Centre.

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8th April 2016 - BUSINESS EVENTS SECTOR GENERATES HIGH VALUE FOR NEW ZEALAND

22nd February 2016 - FIVE YEARS ON CHRISTCHURCH MARKS EARTHQUAKE ANNIVERSARY

18th December 2015 - CHRISTCHURCH CITY COUNCIL TO RECEIVE $635 MILLION POST-EARTHQUAKE INSURANCE SETTLEMENT

3rd December 2015 - CALLS FOR BUILDING OF NEW CHRISTCHURCH CONVENTION CENTRE TO BE EXPEDITED

27th November 2013 - CHRISTCHURCH REVEALS PLANS FOR TOWN HALL AND PERFORMING ARTS PRECINCT


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