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Sky Tower To Host World Tower Conference

17 October 2003

Media release – for immediate release

First Time For Sky Tower To Host World Tower Conference

Representatives from some of the world’s greatest towers will be in Auckland next week to attend the World Federation of Great Towers (WFGT) Conference Auckland 2003* which will be held for the first time ever at Sky Tower.

The 14th annual tower conference will see some 25 delegates from 13 of the world’s leading landmarks meeting to discuss common issues and to share ideas and future initiatives.

Running from Sunday 19 to Thursday 23 October 2003, the conference agenda includes site specific as well as global presentations, group workshops, a tour of Sky Tower and Auckland City, an introductory cocktail function at Sky Tower’s Sky Lounge, dining at Sky Tower’s Observatory Restaurant as well as a number of other leading Auckland dining establishments and a farewell harbour cruise.

SKYCITY General Manager, Sky Tower and SKYCITY Hotel, Jan Hunt, said that since there is usually only one dominant tower or landmark in a city or country, this conference represents the best annual opportunity for management from some of the world’s greatest towers to get together to share ideas and brainstorm strategies for the future.

“It was decided that Auckland’s Sky Tower would be host for the 2003 conference during the 2002 event, which was held in Amsterdam,” says Ms Hunt.

“At that time there was a lot of interest in our presentation, particularly with the launch of Sky Tower’s unique new tourism adventure attractions Skyjump and Vertigo Climb and this has been reflected in the high number of delegates we have attending this year’s event.

“Among the visitors to this year’s event are representatives from communist countries China and Russia, some of whom are only granted permission to leave their countries if they have an invitation from another country.

“We are really looking forward to welcoming all delegates and are confident that this year’s conference will be an educative and enjoyable event for everyone involved,” she said.

Tourism Auckland’s General Manager of Marketing Graham Rouse, who will present at the event on Auckland’s position as the leading visitor destination in New Zealand, is enthusiastic about Sky Tower’s role as host for the 2003 event.

“As a leading tourism attraction with over 700,000 visitors annually, Sky Tower is well qualified to share how it has achieved its local and international success,” says Mr Rouse.

“This year’s World Federation of Great Towers Conference also provides a great opportunity for the Auckland region to showcase itself as a tourism destination to a broad international audience as represented by the conference delegates,” he said.

The World Federation of Great Towers (WFGT) Conference 2003 agenda includes a global update by the WFGT Secretariat (highlighting new towers built or planned and major events that have impacted on the industry over recent times), a lecture on tourism strategies to maintain visitation during various external crises such as war and SARS and a session on marketing initiatives and campaigns including suggestions for future conferences.

SKYCITY General Manager Group Communications, Megan McSweeney, will present examples of promoting Sky Tower from a public relations perspective. Paul Ryken from New Zealand’s Pop Runner Promotions (organisers of the Sky Tower Vertical Challenge at Sky Tower) will give an insight into the annual event, which sees some 1200 athletes and fun run/walkers take on the 1029 steps up the tower’s internal staircase to reach the finish line on level 51 (main observation deck) of Sky Tower each year in April.

The agenda also includes a profile on the weather by celebrity guest speaker and award winning New Zealand meteorologist Augie Auer, as well as specific tower presentations given by representatives from the Oriental Pearl Tower (Shanghai), Rialto Towers, (Melbourne), Macau Tower (Macau), Menara Tower (Kuala Lumpur) and the Berlin Tower.

At the Sky Tower site visit (Monday 20 October), conference delegates will be able to see and trial Sky Tower’s unique experiences Skyjump (a thrilling 80km per hour cable controlled base jump of nearly 200 metres from level 53 of Sky Tower), Vertigo Climb (a unique 44 metre climb up Sky Tower’s internal mast ladder to arrive at the highest man-made open air viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere) and the recently introduced “Eye in the Sky Tower” live camera kiosks on the main observation deck of Sky Tower.

During the conference, delegates will also dine out at Sky Tower’s newest restaurant, The Observatory and will visit the recently refurbished Orbit revolving restaurant and Sky Lounge. In addition, they will experience the redeveloped main entrance and exit area, new gift shop and theatrette at the base of Sky Tower.

Jan Hunt says Sky Tower epitomises SKYCITY’s vision – ‘to create fun and entertainment.’

“With new innovations and by continually refreshing our offerings, we ensure that we continue to offer new reasons for people to visit Sky Tower,” said Ms Hunt.

Sky Tower is:

- The recent winner of the 2003 Tourism New Zealand Visitor Attraction Category.
- The tallest tower in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the most technologically advanced in the world.
- New Zealand’s leading tourism destination – one in every two international visitors to New Zealand visit Sky Tower (or around 700,000 annually).
- Constructed of tens of thousands of tonnes of concrete, reinforced steel and structural steel so it is able to withstand the forces of nature and potential disaster. It is able to remain standing even in an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0 on the Richter scale.
- Six years old and took two years and nine months to build.
- A favourite with locals having been voted Auckland’s leading symbol of the city every year since 1998.

* The World Federation of Great Towers was formed in 1989, to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Eiffel Tower and this was the first year the conference was held, in Paris.

World Federation of Great Towers Conference Auckland 2003
19 to 24 October, 2003

Conference Delegates Attending Represent The Following 13 World Monuments:

: Beijing Central Radio & TV Tower, Beijing, China

: Berliner Fernsehturm, (Berlin Tower) Berlin, Germany

: John Hancock Centre – Chicago, United States

: Menara Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

: Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre, Macau, China

: Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai, China

: Ostankino TV Tower, Moscow, Russia

: Rialto Towers, Melbourne, Australia

: Sky Tower – Host Company, Auckland New Zealand

: Tianjin TV & Radio Tower, Tianjin, China

: Torre de Collserola Barcelona, Spain

: YTN Seoul Tower, Seoul, Korea

: Sydney Tower, Sydney, Australia

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