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Dunedin continues to be an attractive destination for conference buyers.

Last year the city hosted 1466 business events which attracting a combined 114,215 delegates, about a 3% share of the $455million national conference market.

Dunedin Convention Bureau business events tourism adviser Nicole Carvell said Dunedin was still an appealing destination for conference hosts.

Speaking at the Conference and Incentives New Zealand annual meetings conference yesterday, Mrs Carvell said the city was still viewed by many as an alternative destination which was fresh and new, she said.

"They get a bit bored of the usual Queenstown and Auckland, which they do quite often, so they want to see something a bit different and a bit quirky, which is what we do really well in Dunedin.''

The city did well in the mid-200 to 300-person conference market and venues like the Otago Museum and Toitu Otago Settlers Museum were perfect for events of that size.

The city could also handle large events, such as the tourism industry's annual conference, Trenz, which it hosted in 2017.

One area the city was targeting was the high-end incentive market, where businesses reward employees with travel.

"We're not an incentive destination and not known as an incentive destination, but as our product changes, like the five-star refurbishment of the Wains Hotel, we can start to attract those incentive buyers who have really high-end clients.''

There was also still room to attract more international delegates to the city, who spent less per person but typically stayed longer, she said.

"We're being quite creative with the proposals we're putting together, just putting together everything we do well.''

A partnership between Dunedin and the Waikato Business Events had also started to pay off, she said.

The initiative is aimed at the many professional and industry associations which held conferences each year and usually alternated between the North and South Islands.

"The clients are essentially getting two sales pitches in one and we are so familiar with what each other has to offer now, they will send us a referral from an event we can't attend and vice-versa.''

  • Tim Miller is in Auckland as a guest of Conference and Incentives New Zealand.



More such events the merrier for our city, sans protestors of course.

Not so attractive after Mayor Cull tells all members of the mining conference (totally regardless and no doubt ignorant of whether they are evil wreckers of Mother Earth or people working on transitional fuels and climate change adaptation) that they are not welcome in Dunedin. If he had any strong principles in this respect, he would have seen that, to begin with, the request to book was declined. The absolute PITS of bad manners in all cultures to insult a guest .



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