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Waikato Top 3 Conference Destination Thanks To Claudelands

November 27, 2012

Waikato Now Top Three Conference Destination Thanks To Claudelands Conference and Exhibition Centre

The Claudelands Conference and Exhibition Centre boosted visitor numbers to the Waikato with more than 250,000 delegates visiting the region for around 300 events between June, 2011 and June, 2012. This now sees the Waikato region ranked third as a conference destination according to the latest Conference Activity Survey (CAS) recently released by the Ministry of Economic Development.

The Waikato’s fast-growing success is great news for the region’s hospitality and tourism industries with the CAS data showing a significant number of delegates stayed for more than one day. And of more than 300,000 total days spent in the region, over half of these were multiple-day stays.

“The result highlights Waikato’s growing appeal as conference destination,” says Murray Jeffrey, Director of Business Development for Hamilton’s Event Facilities. “And with Claudelands now hitting its stride, numbers will continue to climb,” he said.

Kiri Goulter, CEO of the Hamilton and Waikato Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) says business tourism is one of the driving forces attracting delegates to the Waikato and is a key factor in helping to sustain business year-round for the region.

“Conference delegates are also known to extend their stay after a business event with family members, or travel back to a destination to explore the area as general leisure visitors at a later date, further increasing the flow-on benefits,” Goulter said.

Upcoming plans by Sky City to develop a $35 million luxury hotel in Hamilton will also add to the region’s infrastructure and capacity.

Claudelands attracted a number of key conferences in the past year including: the New Zealand Concrete Industry conference, the New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) conference and the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology (NZIFST) annual conference. These conventions all garnered positive reviews of the venue from organisers who said they were keen to return.

The stunning 6,000-capacity Claudelands Arena has also been in high demand in recent months, hosting high-profile events such as, Sky City Breakers basketball games, Silver Ferns netball test and the hugely successful Armageddon Expo (not included in latest data).

The recent concert by musical theatre diva Elaine Page in October was a coup, bypassing some other main centres to headline at Claudelands. Jeffrey says this trend is set to continue with The Hollies and Bonnie Raitt already on the schedule and more to be announced. The return of the Breakers in late September was a huge success and the Waikato BOP Magic will return for next season as part of the ANZ Championship.

“This is fantastic news for the region and it is wonderful to see recognition of the benefits of the Waikato as a desirable conference and events destination,” Jeffrey said.

Click here for a full set of CAS data.

About Claudelands Conference and Exhibition Centre

Claudelands is a dynamic city venue set in the welcoming green space of heartland New Zealand.

The venue is set on 34 hectares of parkland, and caters for a broad range of conferences, exhibitions, large banquets, meetings and functions and events, music, entertainment and international sport.

It includes the stunning 6000-capacity arena and four-star conference and exhibition centre.
Claudelands has a rich cultural history, and has been hosting events in Hamilton since the late 1800's. The extensive redevelopment of Claudelands began in 2007 and an Open Day was held to mark it’s re-opening in June 2011.

Claudelands is owned and managed by Event Facilities, a unit within Hamilton City Council.

www.claudelands.co.nz

ENDS

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