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Convention Arrivals Steadily Rising

9 March 2006

Convention Arrivals Steadily Rising

Auckland, New Zealand, 9 March 2006: While New Zealand’s international leisure tourist arrival numbers have hit a blip and flattened out in the interim, convention and incentive arrivals are defying gravity and continue to steadily rise.

“Admittedly the C&I base is smaller than FIT but C&I arrivals have consistently been on the up, growing 20 percent year on year for at least the last five years,” says Alan Trotter, Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) CEO. “Also FIT arrival numbers need to be put in perspective, there has been huge growth over the last 4-5 years, so even equalling last year’s figures is still very good and certainly doesn’t mean that that the tourism outlook is all bad.”

From a CINZ perspective the growth isn’t a surprise to Trotter and didn’t just ‘happen.’ It’s the culmination of a targeted marketing campaign, both nationally and internationally, and the result of maintaining a high profile at tradeshows, both in New Zealand and overseas.

“Our mainstay is of course the annual industry tradeshow MEETINGS supplemented with a New Zealand presence at AIME in Melbourne and CINZ and some of its partners also attended EIBTM in Barcelona, Spain for the first time late last year.

“New Zealand is out there showing its face on the world stage and spreading the message both far and near about what a fabulous C&I destination New Zealand is,” Trotter says. “And as always, interest in New Zealand from the international market is high.”

The lucrative international association market is also being successfully attracted to the country via a Government backed and funded scheme, the Conference Assistance Programme (CAP). CAP helps associations prepare bid proposals for their international bodies to conference in New Zealand. “This is not an easy task and needs to be done expertly and where CAP comes in and helps, free of charge,” Trotter says.

The concept is gaining traction and Trotter is out peddling the scheme’s worth in Auckland next week. The one-hour seminar at Auckland’s Langham Hotel will discuss the basics of bidding for international conferences.

“Hosting an international conference can lead to a win-win scenario for both the host organisation and the New Zealand economy. So if you’ve ever thought of bidding for an international conference but thought it was too hard – think again!” Trotter says.

He is not only delighted at the success of the programme to date, but also that the Government has recognised the worth of C&I business to New Zealand by investing in the programme.

ENDS

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