Christchurch and Canterbury brings exciting mix

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News release
4 May 2015
Christchurch and Canterbury brings exciting mix to MEETINGS
Renewed interest in Christchurch as an events destination will see Christchurch and
Canterbury out in force at MEETINGS 2015 next month.
Nine new exhibitors are joining Christchurch and Canterbury Convention Bureau
(CCCB) on stand at MEETINGS 2015, including six exhibitors who were not tehre
last year.
“This year we have an exciting new mix, giving our regional stand a great spread of
accommodation, venues and activities,” says Bureau manager Caroline Blanchfield.
“Our stand is an excellent snapshot of the diverse South Island products
Christchurch and Canterbury has to offer the conventions and incentives market.
“Christchurch is underway with a world-class Convention Centre development and
we are thrilled to introduce this new facility at MEETINGS this year.
“We are also welcoming back several of our legendary hotels, The Chateau on the
Park, The George, The Commodore Hotel, Peppers Clearwater and Peppers
Bluewater.”
Hassle Free Tours is a new exhibitor at MEETINGS. The Christchurch based
company operated by Mark and Nikki Gilbert, offers exceptional touring experiences
and delegate transfer options throughout Christchurch and the region.
Their beautifully restored red London double-decker buses are a big drawcard for
conference visitors looking for the wow factor. Their other unique tour options include
customised experiences in the Canterbury high country.
Vbase returns to MEETINGS as Christchurch’s premier venue manager and
operator. The Vbase team is renowned for hosting exceptional events across a wide
range of Christchurch's top venues, including the Air Force Museum, Horncastle
Arena, AMI Stadium, and two new award-winning locations - ilex in the Botanic
Gardens, and the Hagley Oval and Pavilion.
Hanmer and the Hurunui district of north Canterbury will be well represented at
MEETINGS again in 2015, by Heritage Hanmer Springs hotel, Hanmer Springs
Thermal Hot Pools and Spa, and Hurunui Tourism.
Canterbury catering companies, Continental and Moveable Feasts will both have
stands at MEETINGS 2015, located just near the main CCCB stand.
The interest in the Canterbury region is also reflected in the high number of
Australian hosted buyers who have signed up to take part in a pre-MEETINGS tour,
which will highlight the premium experiences on offer in Christchurch and
Canterbury.
Caroline Blanchfield and CCCB executive Claire Hector-Taylor will be hosting eight
buyers from Australia on the familiarisation tour in the weekend leading up to
MEETINGS.
“There has been fabulous interest in Christchurch from the Australian buyers, eager
to learn more about our region and to see the exciting developments here first-hand,”
Caroline Blanchfield says.
Christchurch is already winning major convention business. The 20th Pacific
Association of Quantity Surveyors (PAQS) Congress will bring 400 delegates to
Christchurch in May 2016, and the city will host 80 international delegates to the
ECCA (Environmental Criminology and Crime Analysis) Symposium in 2015, and
400 to the 2017 International Conference on Computers in Education, while 800
delegates are expected for the 2018 Asia-Oceania Conference of Physical and
Rehabilitation Medicine.
“These high-profile conference wins for Christchurch are putting our city back on the
world stage as an international conference destination,” says Caroline Blanchfield.
Background information
Christchurch and Canterbury Convention Bureau represents the business events
sector in the largest region of New Zealand’s South Island.
With a major rebuild in full swing, the city of Christchurch is well on the way to
becoming the newest and most innovative small city in the western world.
The region offers an exciting learning environment across diverse fields of interest
including earth science, health science, construction, international education,
agriculture and technology.
This stunning South Island setting boasts a variety of flexible meeting and event
venues, from new hotel facilities, to multi-purpose exhibition spaces, and unique
venues ideal for themed events.
To organise a Christchurch conference, event, incentive travel, or search for venues,
accommodation and services in Canterbury visit www.christchurchconventions.com
Christchurch Convention and Exhibition Centre (CCEC)
Set on the Avon river in central Christchurch, the new Centre is positioned as a
boutique-style premium world-class facility, aimed at attracting international
conferences and conventions to Christchurch.
In addition to 4000sqm of exhibition space, a tiered and divisible auditorium for 1500
people and multiple flexible meeting spaces, the Centre will also feature a premium
banqueting space.
Plenary Conventions New Zealand is the Christchurch Convention Centre Precinct
Developer, and Accor has been selected to operate the new Christchurch
Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Rob McIntyre, the operator representative says bookings for 2018 and beyond have
already been secured, and there is considerable interest in Christchurch and the
Canterbury region from the international business events market.
“It’s a very exciting time as we work to ensure the Centre is going to meet our clients’
needs now and into the future,” he says.
The New Zealand Government has committed NZD$284 million (AU$258 million) to
the project. The master planning stage is near completion and construction is due to
start shortly.
ENDS
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