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Inspiration jumps Tasman in runup to MEETINGS 2021

July 2, 2020 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Trans-Tasman travel is difficult at the moment but brighter times lie ahead and New Zealand is showing the way, with the countdown to that country’s premier business events exhibition, MEETINGS 2021 in Ōtautahi Christchurch, now underway.

MEETINGS 2021, run by Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ), will be held this time next year, on 30 June and 1 July 2021, at Te Pae Christchurch, the city’s new world-class convention centre.

 The announcement serves as a reminder that New Zealand is one of the few countries effectively to have beaten the Covid-19 coronavirus. Australia is well on the way – the latest flareup in Victoria notwithstanding.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) confirmed yesterday that flights from New Zealand to Melbourne have been cancelled for “at least two weeks”.

“If you have a flight booked to Melbourne contact your airline or travel agent for information on changes to your flight,” DFAT advised.

“If you wish to travel to Australia flights are still available from Auckland to Sydney and Brisbane. The New Zealand border remains closed to almost all travellers wanting to travel to New Zealand by either air or sea. There are currently no restrictions on domestic travel. If you’re in New Zealand, stay alert to Covid-19.”

The situation should be very different in a year’s time, and hopefully far earlier than that.

CINZ chief executive Lisa Hopkins says Ōtautahi Christchurch will be a stunning location to relaunch MEETINGS and to showcase New Zealand’s best to a high-profile audience.

ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Destination and Attraction, Loren Heaphy (left) and CINZ Chief Executive Lisa Hopkins meeting outside Te Pae Christchurch this month.

“Working together with ChristchurchNZ, Te Pae Christchurch, Vbase, Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand and Christchurch International Airport we will be bringing influential buyers into the heart of the South Island for an unforgettable experience.

“We are anticipating more than 180 exhibitors and over 300 domestic buyers from all over New Zealand, plus 115 from Australia and Asia-Pacific regions once our borders reopen. There is so much interest globally for what New Zealand has to offer, and this will give buyers the opportunity to meet all of New Zealand under one roof in a stunning location,” Hopkins says.

ChristchurchNZ general manager of destination and attraction, Loren Heaphy, says the city is thrilled to be hosting MEETINGS 2021.

“With the opening of Te Pae next year, and exceptional venues and accommodation already in place, Christchurch is set to be at the forefront of business events in New Zealand,” Heaphy says.

“Ōtautahi Christchurch is a vibrant, modern urban centre capable of hosting large-scale events, while giving delegates a boutique city experience with easy access to spectacular natural landscapes.

“Christchurch is recognised as a hub of expertise, with a strong business ecosystem and deep talent pool in our internationally-recognised tertiary institutions,” she says.

“At MEETINGS we will be highlighting the region’s epic incentive and pre and post touring options. Canterbury is home to New Zealand’s highest mountain and largest glacier, stunning high country and coastal scenery, with urban, outdoor and adventure experiences all on the city doorstep.”

Te Pae Christchurch general manager Ross Steele says, “We’re looking forward to working with CINZ and ChristchurchNZ in showcasing the very best of the Canterbury region to the business events community, and revealing New Zealand’s newest world class convention venue as the hub of MEETINGS 2021.”

Vbase chief executive Caroline Harvie-Teare is excited Christchurch Town Hall will be the venue for a spectacular welcome event for MEETINGS 2021.

“We are delighted to see confirmation of the new dates for CINZ MEETINGS 2021. The significance of the broader economic and social benefit to the region of an event such as this has never been more important. We are proud to have been part of the collaborative and collective efforts in securing this event and are buoyed by what this signals for the future of the events industry after a tumultuous and challenging few months,” she says.

MEETINGS was last held in Ōtautahi Christchurch in 2008. The most recent MEETINGS, held in 2019, generated over NZD 62 million during its two days. In the same year the business events industry contributed NZD 477 million to the New Zealand economy )according to the MBIE Business Events Delegate Survey YE December 2019) and it is seen as a significant economic driver in New Zealand’s post-Covid recovery.

Edited by Peter Needham

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