Christchurch’s ability to host world class conventions and incentives remains unshaken, says Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) chief executive Alan Trotter.
He is thrilled at how Christchurch’s conference industry has emerged virtually unscathed from last year’s earthquake and believes 2011 is going to be a stellar year for Christchurch.
“Christchurch has always stood out for the quality of its conferencing facilities and that’s why it consistently performs well when it comes to the size and number of conferences it hosts,’’ Mr Trotter says.
“It’s a dream location for conference organisers because not only does it boast superb facilities, great visitor attractions, and a warm welcoming vibe, but it is also home to a very accomplished conferencing and events industry. Christchurch is full of professionals who know exactly what it takes to pull off a good conference and who work together to deliver the results their clients want.’’
Christchurch’s hosting capabilities will be on show this year when it hosts MEETINGS 2011, the country’s largest annual business tourism expo, in June and the Professional Conference Organisers (PCO) Association annual conference in December.
“These are two of the biggest events on the conference industry’s calendar and will be a great chance for Christchurch to show how it’s bounced back from last year’s earthquake and is still a rock solid destination,’’ Mr Trotter says.
“It will also be an excellent opportunity for the city to show off its exciting new facilities. Considerable money has been invested into revitalising the city centre, including extending its heritage tramway. AMI Stadium has been redeveloped and, later this year the city will be opening a new state-of-the-art airport terminal.
“Plans are also proceeding well to expand the city’s purpose-built convention centre which will further increase its capacity to host large gatherings, so Christchurch is definitely a city moving forward,’’ Mr Trotter says.
This year Christchurch will play a pivotal role in Rugby World Cup 2011. It will be the home base for the Australian rugby team for the duration of the tournament and five pool matches and two quarter-finals are also scheduled to be played at Christchurch’s AMI Stadium.
“Christchurch and Canterbury has a very proud rugby tradition and the city is going to be a-buzz with excitement throughout Rugby World Cup 2011. There are great opportunities still available for companies and organisations to schedule meetings and events on either side of the main weekend fixtures so they can enjoy being part of the world’s biggest sporting events.
“I’m sure lots of Australian companies would be keen to come over and support their national team and with a little bit of creative thinking they could combine business with pleasure. There are more than 90 direct flights from Australia to Christchurch each week so the logistics are easy,’’ Mr Trotter says.