Auckland centre’s local spin-offs DQ

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Destination Queenstown’s boss is picking local benefits from an international convention centre in Auckland. 

A deal between the Government and SkyCity Entertainment Group to build a 3500-delegate centre was announced on Monday. 

“In Queenstown we’ll certainly enjoy the benefits of greater numbers of business event visitors to New Zealand,” DQ chief executive Graham Budd says. 

“This will come in various forms including pre- and post-event holiday visits, attendee partner programmes, smaller associated events being held here and just the greater marketing exposure that will come from pitching for major events to be held in NZ.” 

Tourism Industry Association NZ chief executive Martin Snedden says: “This will allow NZ to target a new and lucrative market for large international conferences. 

“We’ve lagged behind Australia and other international destinations. This is a completely untapped market segment for NZ, and will help us boost shoulder and low season travel.” 

TIA has also been advocating for complementary convention centres in Christchurch and Queenstown. 

Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key last month reiterated his support for a $50 million Queenstown convention centre, which is proposed for the old Man Street campground site.