Nearly $2 million is expected to be injected mostly into the
Otago economy by delegates from as far afield as China,
Lithuania and Russia attending the fifth Global Botanic
Gardens Congress in Dunedin in October.
So far, 238 people have registered for the event, part of
Dunedin Botanic Garden's 150th anniversary.
Dunedin City Council project manager Hamish Black said the
largest number of registrations had come from the United
States (49), Australia (41) and New Zealand (37).
There were also registrations from Europe, Thailand and
''We're very excited about it, as it gives us a real chance
to showcase Dunedin.''
It was hoped 300-350 people would register for the congress,
being held at the Dunedin Centre. Many of the international
delegates had indicated they were planning to see more of the
South Island before or after the congress, he said.
In preparation for the bid for the conference in 2009,
Conference and Incentives New Zealand estimated the
conference would draw 450 delegates and generate $2.9 million
to the New Zealand economy, with the bulk spent in Dunedin.
However, as the world economic situation had not fully
recovered from the global financial crisis, delegate numbers
were downgraded to about 300 so the economic impact was
likely to be $1.9 million-$2 million, he said.
The Dunedin City Council had granted $70,000 over three years
towards the cost of the conference. Fundraising was being
carried out to raise any additional money required, he said.
So far, $30,000 had been raised and congress organisers were
looking for more contributions ''big or small'', Mr Black
''The money is going to help run the congress and ensure we
make this a special event for the delegates, the botanic
garden and, ultimately, the city.''
A day of field trips was planned to places such as Macraes
and Strath Taieri, and there would be sightseeing tours
before and after the congress.
Work was also under way to make it a community event
involving local entertainment and students, he said.