Ballooning over Canterbury

Attendees at New Zealand’s premier business tourism event this week were asked to share their ideas for making Christchurch the ideal destination for conferences and conventions.

The Christchurch and Canterbury Convention Bureau (CCCB) had a stand at MEETINGS 2011 in Rotorua where people could post their ideas on how the city could re-build its damaged business tourism infrastructure.

“Unfortunately some of our key central city conferencing facilities were badly damaged in February’s earthquake, as were many of our central city hotels,” said CCCB manager Leonie Ashford. “The silver lining is that we now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to re-shape our city and to make it even better than it was before.

“We were really keen to get people’s ideas on what we need to do to make Christchurch the ideal destination for conferences and conventions because this is a unique opportunity we’re facing and we want to make sure we get it right.

“Many of the people at MEETINGS are professional conference organisers and they’re bound to have some great ideas about how we can set Christchurch apart as a destination,” she said.

With central city accommodation in Christchurch in short supply because of the quake, CCCB’s second stand at MEETINGS was devoted to one-day conferencing options. 

“Our capacity to host large, multi-day conferences is limited at the moment because of the accommodation problems in the central city, but we still have the ability to host one-day conferences,” she said.

“We’ve got a great new airport terminal which is getting rave reviews so there is no reason why people can’t fly in, spend the day conferencing in Christchurch, and then fly home again that night.”

CCCB’s third stand at MEETINGS showcased the region’s unparalleled appeal as a destination for incentive travel.

“We’ve got all the ingredients needed to whip up great incentives for people – exciting activities, stunning landscapes, a pleasant climate, a unique culture, and some of the best food and wine in New Zealand,” Ashford said. “You’ll find details about all of that and more at our incentive travel stand.”