Queenstown to benefit from Auckland convention centre, DQ boss says

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Destination Queenstown’s boss says he’s very pleased the green light’s been given for Auckland’s long-awaited international convention centre.

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

“In Queenstown we will 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 also welcomes today’s announcement.

“This will allow NZ to target a new and lucrative market for large international conferences which we do not currently have the ability to host.

“We have lagged behind Australia and other international destinations which have major convention facilities.

“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.