Convention industry leaders say demand is high for Christchurch’s convention and exhibition centre, set to be ready for business in 2020. The Government announced today that main construction work will get underway soon.
Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Chief Executive Sue Sullivan says there is growing international demand for this style of premium facility.
“With lead-times for major conferences between three to eight years and a long pipeline for future business, we can now confidently go out and book Christchurch for 2020 and beyond.
“We have seen strong interest in Christchurch at recent trade events in Auckland and Sydney. Conference organisers are telling us they want stand-out design and flexible space in an attractive, walkable city centre with quality accommodation and excellent international and domestic air connectivity,” she says.
“The inspiring building and central riverside setting creates a strong sense of place for delegates. Overlay that with the unique cultural aspects Christchurch offers, the warmth of hospitality and South Island experiences on the doorstep and this is a compelling proposition.”
With the larger New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) in Auckland, followed by Christchurch, New Zealand is set to capture a bigger slice of the international multi-day convention market.
“The convention industry is a major driver for our tourism industry and the Christchurch convention centre will impact on the economic success of the entire South Island. Regional New Zealand will also benefit from both these new venues in Auckland and Christchurch through pre and post-event touring, related sub-conferences and educational site visits.”
Convention visitors stay longer and spend more than other visitors to New Zealand. Last year international conference visitors stayed an average of six nights, spending an estimated $334 per night, double the average spend for all international visitors (Convention Delegate Survey – Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment for the year to December 2016).