Conference Industry Group Could Be Worth $2million to Capital

Tuesday 21 April 2009, 4:16PM


It’s business time in the capital this week, with Positively Wellington Tourism’s Convention Bureau hosting its biggest group of conference organisers ever in the city.

The 29 conference organisers are here Wednesday-Friday on a Bureau ‘mega-famil’ and could be worth in excess of $2 million to the city. The mega-famil events are held biannually to showcase Wellington’s conference capabilities to the industry.

Positively Wellington Tourism (PWT) Chief Executive David Perks says Wellington’s accessibility, creativity and responsiveness have seen the city increase its conference market share in the past year.

According to the latest National Convention Activity Survey figures, the number of conference delegate days spent in Wellington in 2008 increased 12% compared to 2007, despite a decline of the same percentage nationally.

“We are working in a completely different climate than we were a year ago, but our team and our city are more than equipped for the challenge.

“Business tourism is one of many industries caught up in the global downturn, so the Wellington Convention Bureau and its partners have been working with clients to offer added value and workable solutions. With some uncertainty in the air, lead times have decreased so responsiveness and logistics have been vital to securing business.”

PWT Convention Bureau Sales Manager Martin Boland said last year’s two mega-famils had seen business worth an estimated $1 million apiece booked in the capital.
“Given the numbers of clients we’re hosting and what they’re looking for, the value from this week’s guests could be in excess of $2 million.”

Each of the 29 visitors has a personalised itinerary for their visit, tailored to their business needs. The group includes nine Australian conference organisers – the biggest contingent from our neighbours hosted on a mega-famil to date, Mr Perks says.

“Australia is a vital development market for Wellington across both leisure and business sectors. The profile we have been building for Wellington across the ditch has seen a much heightened interest from both areas of the industry and this is reflected in the number of participants here this week.”

This is the sixth mega-famil organised by the Wellington Convention Bureau and supported by Air New Zealand.