FLOWERS

7000 Ellerslie tickets sold in first month

Friday 2 October 2009, 2:06PM
By Christchurch City Council
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CHRISTCHURCH

More than 7000 tickets sold during the September Christchurch residents and ratepayers special for next year’s Ellerslie International Flower Show.

“The number is about half of last year,” says Ellerslie International Flower Show Managing Director Dave Mee.

“This is still significantly more than the 500 tickets that we would have sold six months out from the Show when it was in Auckland.”

He says ticket sales last September during the Christchurch residents and ratepayers special topped 15,000.

“While numbers are lower this year, we are selling much higher yielding tickets. This year, we have already sold almost 500 Diamond Express Club and Elite Experience tickets. This compares with 76 at the same time last year.”

Mr Mee says feedback showed the introduction of the Specific Day tickets as one way to reduce queues and better control crowds had impacted on ticket sales as part of the September ratepayers and residents special.

“What this does mean is we are likely to see higher value gate sales as residents make decisions on the day to attend next year’s Show and opt to buy Any Day tickets at $32, which were not part of the ratepayers special.”

“Specific Day tickets are in keeping with the way other international flower shows control queues for a better visitor experience.”

He says in 2008 many residents purchased the $22 ratepayers/residents tickets as gifts and felt constrained by the Specific Day Ticket only special this year, not wanting to commit family and friends to visiting next year’s Show on a particular day.

“If the ratepayer special is offered again for the 2011 Show, we will look at the special offer being for Any Day tickets to make the buying decisions easier.

“It is important to understand that pre-Show ticket sales far exceeded everyone’s expectations last year, a result of the South Island-wide excitement that was generated by Christchurch hosting for the first time the international flower show,” Mr Mee says.

“It was always expected that pre-Show sales would be about half that of last year. Many visitors to this year’s Show were curious about what Ellerslie was all about.

“What we are seeing for next year is the Show drawing its more traditional audience of visitors who are passionate gardeners and horticulturalists.

“This is reflected in the strong sales of the higher price Diamond Express Club and Elite Experience tickets. These tickets provide express lane access to all the attractions, along with VIP parking, and in the case of the Elite Experience guided tours, the opportunity to meet the garden designers and a gourmet lunch.”

He says while it is difficult to predict at this early stage the number of likely visitors to next year’s Show, he is confident the crowds will again be treated to another first-class international flower show in 2010.