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Industry Head Backs Call for Convention Centre

Monday 31 October 2005

PRESS RELEASE

Industry Head Backs Call for Convention Centre

New Zealand’s convention industry head is backing calls for a dedicated convention facility of international standards to be built in Auckland.

“Auckland City Mayor Dick Hubbard has the convention centre on his priority list for the city’s infrastructure and I couldn’t agree more,” says Alan Trotter, Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) CEO.

“If Auckland wants to cement itself as a world class city with infrastructure to match, it needs a dedicated convention and exhibition centre – currently it is lagging well behind by international standards. This isn’t just an Auckland issue either, it’s a New Zealand issue and the centre would benefit the whole country.”

A dedicated convention centre of international standards for Auckland isn’t a new concept, the proposal has been bandied around for more than 20 years but Mr Trotter believes the project is closer than it has ever been.

“There is no doubt that a purpose built convention and exhibition centre is a ‘must have’ for a world class city such as Auckland especially with New Zealand’s popularity as a convention and incentive destination soaring. It’s imperative with New Zealand in demand on the world stage that we have the infrastructure in place.

“There’s never been a better time for New Zealand as a convention and incentive destination - international delegate arrivals are at an all time high and steadily increasing by 20 percent each year, and the Government has recognised the value to the economy by allocating funding to attract more convention business into the country,” Mr Trotter says.

Conventions are a lucrative business for the whole country. A recent international conference in Auckland highlights this value with each of the 2,500 delegates spending on average $773 per day during the 6-day conference, injecting nearly $20 million into the economy.

“The international airfares need to be added to this figure as well, which shows the significant value of the conference industry to New Zealand. This daily delegate spend is more than five times the average daily spend of international tourists to the country,” Mr Trotter says.

“The Committee for Auckland is backing the convention centre proposal and we have successfully elevated it to national importance. We’ve also commissioned further research into the value and need for such a centre to be built.

“This will support research already done over the last year doing into the costs and benefits of international standard convention and exhibition centres. Benefits include that such centres are a catalyst for significant economic and infrastructural growth and generate large scale public and private investment.”

ENDS

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