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Mice Asia Net : January 2009
new zealand comes of age new zealand New ZealaNd has come of age in recent times, offering a bounty of meeting and incentive options. international association market, particularly to Auckland and the southern city of Christchurch, and is doing well in the incentive stakes thanks to some great product. Its biggest market continues to be Australian convention and incentive groups, however, there appears to be growing interest from Asia, particularly from companies who have been to Australia and are looking for new experiences in a destination close by. As well as ramping up its activity in Australia the country’s premier marketing group, Convention & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ), has a firm eye on attracting more business from Asia. CINZ CEO, Alan Trotter, believes that despite the global economic turmoil New Zealand will be able to weather the storm, particularly if it keeps doing what it does well. “New Zealand has always been a boutique destination for the C&I market and its comparatively low rate of exchange has always offered fantastic value for money,” he says. “Coupled with the professionalism of the operators within the sectors, and most importantly, the fantastic natural beauty that New Zealand has, adds up to a fantastic proposition.” As if by way of example of New Zealand’s interest in Asia, Mr Trotter will be travelling to India in March 2009, for a first-hand look at the market and its potential. “[This is to] get a better handle on the potential for outbound incentives emanating from India as well as meeting with key Indian wholesalers and hopefully try and give them a flavour of what New Zealand has to offer their groups.” In terms of securing international conventions, Mr Trotter says doing so is a win-win for all concerned. “But we do need to take the industry to the next level in terms of increasing the funding available for marketing destination New Zealand as a convention and incentive destination, and we also need to invest in infrastructure specifically around the creation of a dedicated international convention facility. “Such a facility has been talked about for many years and it is hoped that even in today’s challenging economic climate, the strategic decision is made to invest in the future for the long term benefit, not only for the New Zealand economy, but the New Zealand population as a whole. “The Conference Assistance Programme (CAP), operated by CINZ W ith a fantastic exchange rate for visiting delegates, New Zealand’s stature on the global stage is growing. Year- on-year it continues to attract a greater share of the for the New Zealand Government, is going through a purple patch at the moment. [In late 2008 we have] won six successful bids with a combined value of around NZ$16M. This is on top of the $125M that has already been won in the last three years since inception of the contract, and provides concrete proof that a targeted approach to bidding for international conventions which is properly resourced, will deliver tremendous benefits to the host country.” First-rate facilities But despite Mr Trotter’s call for a dedicated convention centre, New Zealand is already well-placed to attract medium to large conferences. The Auckland Convention Centre at THE EDGE® is experienced in hosting international meetings in the heart of New Zealand’s major city (see story on page 68). Further south South of Auckland there is plenty of opportunities for meetings and incentives. In the North Island the townships of Taupo and Rotorua combine water-based experiences with spa facilities including hot springs, mud pools, adrenalin-charged activities, and much more. Further south is the bustling capital Wellington which offers a plethora of accommodation and meetings facilities including the impressive Wellington Convention Centre which offers a range of spaces to suit groups of all shapes and sizes. Wellington is also home to Te Papa, New Zealand’s treasured museum. Travelling further south is Christchurch which lays claim to being the best destination for conventions and unique incentives. And, with the Christchurch Convention Centre located here, with seating capacity for in excess of 2000 delegates, the city has every right to make the claim. Towards the bottom of New Zealand is the stunning alpine township of Queenstown which continues to impress first-time visitors and repeat customers. This winter and summer playground is surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in New Zealand, some of which was captured in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. For further information on how to make New Zealand part of your next convention or incentive travel program visit www.conventionsnz.com. ABOVE: Auckland Bridge Bungy. Photo courtesy of AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand. Tourism New Zealand. miceAsia.net 67