Around New Zealand
Both new and familiar favourites from across the ditch were in Auckland last week as part of Gold Coast Connect.
Hosted in Grand Mercure Auckland’s funky laneway, PCOs, incentive operators and corporate travel managers received an update on new developments on the coast as it heads into the Commonwealth Games next month.
A Christchurch conference has been recognised among the world’s best at the Eventex 8th Global Event Awards.
The Social Enterprise World Forum 2017 (SEWF 2017) and hosted by the Ākina Foundation and organised by New Zealand professional conference organiser Conference Innovators, was awarded second place in the Best
A prominent city block of land in Tauranga’s central business district has been placed on the market for sale, with the property cited as a potential spot for a hotel tower.
The property fronting Cameron Road and bordered by Harington Street, Durham Street and Hamilton Street sits directly opposite Tauranga Domain and currently sustains the Durham Motor Inn Tauranga, which has a management lease expiring in July this year.
The Corporate Traveller New Zealand team has revealed its new-look branding.
Corporate Traveller general manager New Zealand Kelly Thomas says the new look represents the growth in the brand since its launch in New Zealand nine years ago.
New Zealand event management company Seven Events celebrates 10 years in business this year and is launching a new brand and website.
Director Peter Allen says Seven Events will continue with its strong corporate focus, but is also delving further into the community event space and, together with like-minded industry experts, is exploring some exciting new events for local communities.
Northland continues to record annual guest night growth well ahead of the national average growth rate of 2.5, with guest nights growing by 5.2% overall in the December month.
The domestic market returned to strong growth while international nights were flat. Domestic nights grew 7.6% in December while international nights grew slightly by 0.4%.
The Aotea Centre will undergo a redevelopment starting with a distinctive new exterior, which is currently underway, followed by a comprehensive internal refurbishment that will begin in October.
Both internal and external refurbishments are due for completion in March 2019.
Major events such as the America’s Cup in 2021 will propel Auckland into the global spotlight, according to Steve Armitage, Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development general manager, speaking at Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo.
‘While 2021 is an incredible opportunity to propel our city into the world stage, we aren’t strangers to hosting these kinds of major events. The Rugby World Cup 2011 is an example of how a single event can be a catalyst for
Christchurch has won the bid to host the International Wetlands Conference, expected to attract 1000 delegates from around the world when it comes to the city in 2020.
Local ecologist and wetland expert, Dr Philippe Gerbeaux from the Department of Conservation’s Freshwater team was one of driving forces behind bringing the event to Christchurch, after being asked by the co-chairs of the Intecol Wetlands Working Group whether New
Christchurch will play host to the 2019 linux.xonf.au conference, set to bring up to 800 delegates from around Australasia and the world to the city.
The 2019 event will be the 20th anniversary of the conference and will run from 21-25 January 2019 at the University of Canterbury.
Hilton Lake Taupo has completed its significant redevelopment project of the hotel’s conference and event facilities.
The all-new venue within the hotel’s iconic heritage wing has brought together the Victorian design of the original building, built in 1889, with state-of-the-art technology and contemporary furnishings.
Queenstown is getting ready for its latest hotel, with the Wyndham Garden set to open 1 May 2018.
The 75-room hotel, which comprises a mixture of hotel, studio and one-bedroom apartment and will feature onsite F&B and conference facilities.
New Zealand will have ‘prime position’ at this year’s Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meeting Expo (AIME), according to Conventions & Incentives Australia manager Sharon Auld.
CINZ and Tourism New Zealand are teaming up on the 100% Pure New Zealand stand with 11 partners from key regions and venues. They are joined by the country’s national carrier Air New Zealand.
‘Together we are making the most of this prime spot to create a real sense of our place and our people. It will be an engaging slice of Aotearoa New Zealand in Melbourne,’ says Auld.
Central Energy Trust Arena in Palmerston North will undergo a major expansion and redesign after Palmerston North City Council signed off on a $25 million development for the city’s main sports and events centre.
Key features of the development include a new stand encompassing concourse seating and function space along the southern embankment, a new speedway facility, and a revamped, park-like entrance.
This will be designed to open onto a new ‘Boulevard’, another council-planned development aimed to improve the link for pedestrians between the arena with the CBD.
Auckland Conventions Venues & Events now has a partnership with premium caterers The Kitchen c/o SKYCITY and Urban Gourmet.
Auckland Conventions general sales manager, Marija Gecan, says the new catering partners have been chosen for their exceptional cuisine and extensive experience.
‘Staging more than 700 events a year, we are focused on offering more choice and innovation. Our priority is to provide clients with the best experience and highest-quality service possible across our diverse portfolio of iconic Auckland venues.’
H3 operations manager Claire Toko has taken out a top award at the Entertainment Venues Association of New Zealand (EVANZ) Awards in Wellington.
Toko was named the ‘Simpson Grierson Operations Manager of the Year’, with the judges commending her for the significant contribution she has made to H3 and her role as a leader and ‘go-to’ person in the business.
Having worked at H3 in several roles over the past 12 years, Claire has drawn on her broad range of experience to identify and lead a number of initiatives in areas including health and safety, staff induction, contract management and development projects.
Tourism Marketing Solutions held one of its last TMS.Workshops for the year at the SKYCITY Convention Centre Boardroom in Auckland last week.
With a focus on the C&I market, the workshop was facilitated by Tania Adolphe and Sarah Hillman, both of which have worked in the tourism industry for a number of years and see the workshops as giving back to the industry.
New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) is teaming up with Ungerboeck Software as its event management solution.
Callum Mallett, general Manager of operations at NZICC, says the team properly evaluated three solutions in its search for a venue management solution.
‘Two of the booking and CRM systems answered many of the questions we had, but only Ungerboeck covered the remit of almost everything on our wish list, and had the real pedigree in the international convention market,’ he says.
The New Zealand Aquaculture Conference will be held in Marlborough in September 2018.
A celebration of the world’s finest farmed seafood grown in Marlborough and around New Zealand, the Aquaculture Conference bid was led by Business Events Marlborough, working with local venues, accommodation providers and transport operators.
The region will see around 400 delegates visiting from across New Zealand and around the world and is set to bring an estimated $344,400 into the local economy.
Queenstown-based meeting and conference operators have a training opportunity through TMS on 9 November.
The course will upskill and educate participants over four to five hours on the principals of the conference and incentives sales process.
Hotel occupancy in Christchurch is up almost five percent on the same time last year, according to the latest Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) statistics. Other industry reporting also highlights this trend with stronger year-on-year demand for CBD hotels in the 4.5 to five-star market.
QT Hotels & Resorts has unveiled the artist impressions of its new property, QT Queenstown.
The hotel follows the design-DNA of QT’s predecessor properties, with its identity inspired by the surrounding environment along with a touch of signature QT quirk.
Auckland has won the bid to host the World Beard and Moustache Championships in 2021, which will see facial hair aficionados from around the globe descend on the city.
The championships is a biennial competition in which some of the most outrageous and highly styled facial hair on the planet is on display.
The Fellowship of the Beard NZ president, and regular competitor, Ygnacio Cervio worked with Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) and Tourism New Zealand to secure the event for Auckland.
A new business expo is set for a 2018 debut in Tauranga.
The inaugural Bay of Plenty/Waikato Business Expo will offer a prime opportunity for businesses across the country to maximise exposure to the central region of Tauranga, Hamilton and Rotorua and reap new opportunities, say organisers, Jigsaw Solutions Group.
The economic value of the events won by Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB), in conjunction with ACB members and industry partners, is valued at $46 million in the year ending July 2017, according to new figures released by Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) today.
ACB, a division within ATEED’s destination business unit, has won 58 business events through its activity over the last financial year.
This has resulted in the region hosting more than 28,000 international and domestic delegates between June 2016 and July 2017, who stayed a total of 124,365 visitor nights.
Delegates to Explore’s Otehei Bay venue in the Bay of Islands are increasingly interested in conservation activities. Dinna Sansalvador, business development manager at Explore Group, says that while there has been heightened demand from groups for Otehei Bay, she is seeing more and more interest in activities that involve the environment, such as tree planting, weed busting and wildlife restoration projects.
Queenstown’s Regional Tourism Organisation, Destination Queenstown (DQ), has announced a new structure in a move to account for current and future demands and opportunities.
Finalised this week, a revised structure establishes a second director role to sit alongside current marketing and communications director, Sarah O’Donnell. O’Donnell’s team is unchanged and has responsibility for DQ’s consumer marketing, communications, media, PR, social media and campaign partnership activity.
Book a conference for August or September and receive a complimentary catering upgrade worth $10.00 per person to the Daily Delegate Package at the Tannery. Book an afternoon or evening function in winter and have the option to incorporate a Cassels & Sons beer tasting for the special price of $10pp or Happy Hour at the end of the event (25% off).
Tickets for the New Zealand Event Awards are on sale now, with tickets expected to be in hot demand following last year’s sell out. Plus early birds will be in to win, if attendees register and pay for their awards tickets before Friday 1 September, they will go in a draw courtesy of SKYCITY to win a night’s luxury accommodation package for two adults at SKYCITY Grand Hotel to the value of $459.
Registrations are open for the Conventions & Incentives New Zealand 41st Annual Conference and AGM, which will be held on 24-26 October in Dunedin at the Town Hall.
Two pre-famils are on offer for PCOs, who may wish to educate themselves further about what’s on offer in Waitaki and Southland. The famils are fully hosted and have been provided by the Oamaru Convention Bureau, Tourism Waitaki and Venture Southland.Some half day Dunedin famil options will be open to all delegates on Tuesday 24 October.
Several member hotels have offered special rates for members for conference accommodation, and Air New Zealand have offered a special discount code for conference airfares.
Culture holds a pretty powerful promise in New Zealand, and it’s no different in Rotorua, which prides itself as being the heartland of Maori culture. Craig Murray, business events manager at Destination Rotorua, says the Manaakitanga is the city’s catch cry. ‘Manaakitanga places a responsibility on us as your hosts to give you the best of ourselves, our time and our history,’ he says. Murray says intertwining culture into business events, conferences and incentive travel is something the business events team prides itself on doing. A high performing team of four, the business events team focuses on bringing conferences that fit with Rotorua’s image, such as geothermal, forestry and forestry-based science, and especially indigenous culture.
Taupō has been included in Project Palace, a government initiative designed to attract foreign investment into New Zealand’s hotel sector.
Taupō joins the other capacity-constrained centres of Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown in the project.
Damian Coutts, general manager of Destination Great Lake Taupō, says the inclusion of Taupō in the study reinforces recent data that shows unprecedented growth in the hotel sector for the district.
Coutts says it would be greatly beneficial to the district if the market analysis resulted in new large-scale accommodation and activity investment for Taupō. He says Great Lake Taupō had worked together with Enterprise Great Lake Taupo to have the district included in the project and were very pleased with the result.
‘The prospect of significant new investments in our district will ensure future visitor growth is not constrained by capacity issues in terms of large-scale group and conference facilities,’ he says.
More than $40 billion is being ploughed into Christchurch, transforming New Zealand’s oldest city into its newest. Speaking at Get Global in Sydney, ChristchurchNZ Convention Bureau bid manager Claire Hector-Taylor says this compact, attractive city is an ideal meeting destination.
‘Christchurch is a future-focused city boasting major infrastructure developments, including a new convention centre due to be completed in late 2019. We are the gateway to New Zealand’s South Island with a top international airport just 15 minutes from the city.’
Air New Zealand has officially launched its service to Haneda Tokyo, in response to increased demand for travel between the two countries.
The new service will depart Auckland on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from July – May, offering customers a second point of entry to the Japanese capital alongside the airline’s daily flights to Narita Tokyo Airport.
Air New Zealand chief revenue officer Cam Wallace says demand for travel between the two countries continues to soar and the new Auckland-Haneda direct route will boost annual capacity to Japan by 15%.
Business Events Marlborough has won the bid for the Apiculture New Zealand Conference and Trade Exhibition in July 2018. The Conference is for noncommercial and commercial beekeepers, packers, exporters, and the wider Apiculture supplier network and will attract an estimated 600+ delegates from across New Zealand to the region.
Open for business in 2019, the New Zealand International Convention Centre is starting to take shape.
More than 2300 ton of steel has been erected so far, out of approximately 8000 ton in total, and 2/3rd of the exhibition floor steel is in place.
Eventbrite has officially launched into New Zealand, following significant organic growth in the local market. The move is part of the company’s APAC expansion efforts.
The technology has powered more than 70,000 events in New Zealand since inception and is establishing a presence in Auckland to build upon the momentum it has experienced with local event creators.
Local operations will be led by New Zealand native, Brad McIntyre, serving as marketing manager, Eventbrite Australia & New Zealand, and reporting into Phil Silverstone, general manager, Australia and New Zealand. McIntyre will be looking to hire local New Zealand talent to grow the team in the year ahead.
According to Silverstone, the live experience market and event scene is booming in New Zealand. Recent research shows that New Zealanders attend the most events in the western world, with more than nine out of 10 (93%) Kiwis having attended an event in the past 12 months, more than the US, UK, Europe, and Australia.
‘We’re incredibly excited to be launching into our second APAC market. The New Zealand office deepens our regional expansion and continues our mission of bringing people together through the power of live experiences,’ says Silverstone.
‘New Zealand may have a small population, but Kiwis have a huge appetite for live experiences, making it the perfect market for Eventbrite.’
Admirals Motor Lodge on the main route between Blenheim and Christchurch has been placed on the market for sale.
Located at 161 Middle Renwick Road in the Blenheim suburb of Springlands, the motel is a leased 20-unit accommodation provider sitting on 3,650 square metres of land close to Blenheim Airport and on the main route out of the city.
The motel is configured into a single three-bedroom unit, five two-bedroom units, three single-bedroom units, and 11 studio units – all fitted out with kitchenette amenities. Recreational facilities at the Middle Renwick Rd site include a swimming pool and spa.
In addition to the commercial accommodation, the venue has a three-bedroom owner/manager’s residence.
There are 33 finalists in this year’s New Zealand Hotel Industry Awards, with five regions taking centre stage - Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.
Waikato will welcome around 800 international indigenous studies experts in June 2019. The event will put the region on the world stage as a cultural hub and is expected to deliver more than $1.7 million to the economy.
Tourism New Zealand worked with the University of Waikato and Hamilton and Waikato Tourism to secure the annual Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) conference.
‘Waikato’s strong cultural links, activities and the University’s indigenous studies expertise was a winning combo and convinced the event organisers to bring the conference to New Zealand for the first time,’ says Lisa Gardiner business events and premium manager, Tourism New Zealand.
South Island event catering and venue management company Continental is to have a change of ownership after 52 years in the industry.
Current managing director Greg Ward retains his 50% share of the Rangiora-based company, however, his parents Joan and David Ward have sold their share of the business to Continental’s operations manager David Cartwright.
Greg Ward says the only change for staff, customers and suppliers will be a different legal name for the business - DF & JA Ward to Continental Catering Group Ltd – but trading will continue under the name Continental.
Lake Wanaka Tourism held a pre-MEETINGS famil in Wanaka at the beginning of this month, hosting international buyers from a range of markets including North America, SE Asia and India.
The famil, which was hosted in conjunction with Tourism New Zealand, saw buyers experience a range of Wanaka activities including skydiving and high country 4WD, and concluded with a gala dinner at The Rippon Hall. The buyers stayed at Edgewater.
James Helmore, general manager of Lake Wanaka Tourism, says promoting Wanaka as a destination for incentives and conferences is one of the organisation’s key strategies.
‘Typically conference delegates will stay longer than other visitors to the region and C&I events are usually held outside of peak seasons,’ he says.
Helmore says Wanaka being selected by Tourism New Zealand as a MEETINGS famil destination was recognition of the region’s portfolio of products, services and venues for the MICE market.
Check out some photos of the group at Skydive Wanaka in our gallery.
Designs for the Christchurch Centre were unveiled to event organisers at MEETINGS 2017 in Auckland.
General manager Rob McIntyre says the convention centre will be a dream space for organisers and delegates, designed with a distinctive South Island flavour.
‘Our stunning new venue is now underway on a prime riverfront site, in the heart of New Zealand’s newest city,’ he says.
Designed by international firm Woods Bagot, McIntyre says the Christchurch Centre promises to be a landmark facility of outstanding architectural significance. Its central, walkable location, cultural and heritage references, and flexible design layout are key features.
‘We have studied the best practice worldwide and designed purpose-built boutique facilities around the way our clients work, creating seamless transitions between spaces and sessions,’ McIntyre says. ‘The venue will be responsive to a wide range of event requirements for up to 2000 delegates, all within easy walking distance of city hotels.’
The centre features a tiered 1400-delegate auditorium that can be scaled to allow up to three events to run concurrently. It is complemented by break-out space in meeting rooms - from boardroom scale to large flat floor plenary sessions. The purpose-built banqueting area has separate capacity to host the total number of convention delegates. An exhibition hall supports the exhibition component of conventions, while public circulation space allows for informal meetings and pre-event gathering spaces. Support infrastructure includes dedicated offices for professional conference organisers, a hospitality lounge, boardroom, crew room and speaker preparation rooms.
‘Christchurch ticks all the boxes for destination appeal, accessibility, educational opportunities, and networking. It is the gateway to the magnificent South Island, with an excellent international airport and an attractive, compact city centre,’ says McIntyre.
The Christchurch Centre is a New Zealand Government project and is managed by Accor.
Auckland has shifted up the international rankings for business events, moving up 14 places in the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) rankings to 79 from 93 last year
Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) manager Anna Hayward says this year’s ICCA rankings highlight how much Auckland as a business events destination is growing on the international stage.
‘Auckland has shifted 32 places in the rankings since 2014 and this is before the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) is open,” she says.
The New Zealand International Convention Centre has secured the bid to host the 36th World Veterinary Association Congress in 2020, worth an estimated $6.2 million to the regional economy.
The congress will bring together an estimated 3,000 veterinarians from around the world to explore the challenges that face animal health and welfare, to find solutions where possible, and to demonstrate the value of the profession.
Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) – a division of Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) – with support from Tourism New Zealand, worked with international PCO, ICS Ltd, and NZICC to secure the winning bid for the city.
The 36th WVAC joins the previous three events secured for the NZICC, including the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO), the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) 20th World Congress of Food Science and Technology.
‘These four business events alone will deliver more than $21 million to Auckland in 2020 and that’s just the economic impact,’ comments ACB manager Anna Hayward.
MEETINGS 2017 has come to an end, with the two-day trade exhibition putting New Zealand’s potential for events and incentive travel on show.
CINZ chief executive Sue Sullivan says a big contingent of international buyers and media were hosted over the two days of the event.
‘Event organisers are always looking for something truly different, and we have shown them New Zealand is a stunning learning and networking environment,’ she says.
‘Our exhibitors have had plenty of positive feedback and have collectively held over 6000 meetings with potential clients and will be leaving MEETINGS with strong business leads to follow up,’ says Sullivan.
The New Zealand International Conference Centre has secured the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) 20th World Congress of Food Science and Technology.
The congress will take place in 2020 over five days, and is expected to contribute an estimated $4.25 million to the Auckland economy. Auckland Convention Bureau – a division of Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) – with support from Tourism New Zealand, worked with the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology (NZIFST) to secure the bid. IUFoST supports programmes and projects to increase the safety and security of the world’s food supply.
Anne Scott, NZIFST President, says the hosting body had wanted to bid to host this event for some time but had not had the resources to do it previously.
‘We were very excited when Tourism New Zealand and ACB came forward and said they could provide funding through the Conference Assistance Programme to fund the bid. Without their support we would never had bid,’ she says.
Accommodation bookings in Wellington are on the up as supply issues face Auckland, according to new figures released today by FCM Travel Solutions, in the first of the Spotlight on Business Travel Trends 2017 report, which show a 27% increase in accommodation bookings in Wellington for the first quarter of 2017.
Figures also show the accommodation booking increase has driven prices up in the centre, with a 10% increase in the average rate per night in Wellington.
Andy Jack, general manager FCM Travel Solutions New Zealand, says the report has shown businesses are having to adapt their domestic booking requirements as a result of supply issues, predominantly in the main centres.
‘It’s not surprising that Wellington’s room rates exceed other centres, it’s our nation’s capital and requires a lot of business travel traffic,’ he says. ‘Auckland is heading into what could be described as a significant supply and demand issue and as a result, rates are increasing.’