Christchurch Convention Centre NEW precinct 3 - EDITED

New infrastructure projects across the country have been a major talking point for New Zealand at Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) this week.

Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) chief executive Sue Sullivan said two new convention centres being planned for Christchurch and Auckland will give the country opportunity to grow its convention capabilities.

Further developments in Queenstown and Wellington will further enhance the venue offering, she said.

“New Zealand is working to become a major player in the international convention business,” she said. “We have some very exciting opportunities ahead of us.”

Knowledge of New Zealand as a business events destination is at an all-time high – with New Zealand ranking 51st in the International Conference and Convention Association’s (ICCA) annual country and city rankings.

New Zealand’s ranking as a destination for hosting business events is up four places on the previous year and sits just outside the world’s top 50.

Sullivan said there are at least 83 conferences on the international circuit that the country is missing out on because it doesn’t have a venue large enough.

“A facility in Auckland catering for 3,000 delegates will allow New Zealand to host conferences of a size not seen here before,” she said. “We immediately become an international player, challenging Australia and South East Asia for lucrative convention business.

“It will give us the ability to tap into markets we’ve been shut out of in the past because we simply haven’t had venues big enough to cater to their needs.”

Facilities in Christchurch, Queenstown and Wellington are also in various stages of planning.

As well as great infrastructure, New Zealand has a special brand of hospitality that is highly valued by overseas visitors, Sullivan said.

“Caring for our guests is at the heart of our culture. The best way to describe our warm welcome is ‘manaakitanga’, a Maori word that means respect, humanity and kindness. It’s part of everything we do, and this is what we’ve brought to AIME.”

CINZ and Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) have partnered to lead a large contingent of 14 of New Zealand’s key business events operators to AIME 2015.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management