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Conference Assistance Programme Worth Millions

Friday 20 February 2004

Conference Assistance Programme Worth Millions To NZ Economy

A unique conference assistance programme (CAP) is returning millions of dollars to the New Zealand economy.

“For every $1,000 invested in CAP it is returning $1 million to the New Zealand economy, which makes it a very worthwhile investment,” says Alan Trotter, CINZ Chief Executive Officer.

Run by Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) CAP has been operating for six years. The programme cost just over $100,000 to set up and has so far resulted in $130 million of international association conference business coming to New Zealand.

“CAP is free to any association wanting to hold an international conference and helps organisers bid for the event to be held in New Zealand. A lot of people wouldn’t have any idea where to start and that’s what CAP is for,” Mr Trotter says.

CAP is the interface between the New Zealand convention industry and the members of CINZ and the medical, academic and scientific community.

“The programme is hugely successful with a 75 percent success rate to date, winning 63 out of 85 bids. The programme is showing a great return for a relatively small investment,” Mr Trotter says.

“The Conference Assistance Programme was instrumental in helping bring the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS), the largest scientific convention ever to be held in New Zealand, to Christchurch in 2001. This convention involved over two and a half thousand delegates and injected around 20 million dollars into the New Zealand economy, and involved nineteen satellite conferences held throughout New Zealand.

“The conference market is a lucrative one for New Zealand and its worth to the economy is not given enough credence. There are also the other positive spin-offs such as the knowledge sharing and repeat business when conference delegates return for a holiday, often with family.”

Mr Trotter says that in general the conference market in New Zealand is looking very strong with international convention arrivals for the year ended November 30, 2003 up nearly 12 percent to 50,000.

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