Conference hosts students

Otago Polytechnic tourism students will benefit from the latest conference in Dunedin, getting a first-hand insight into the business events sector.

The Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) annual conference is to be held in Dunedin for the first time, and opens next Tuesday.

CINZ is the industry body for the convention and incentive industry, and delegates will visit at a  time when the city’s business tourism industry is growing.

The conference will bring more than 140 people  to Dunedin, including owners and managers of venues, catering companies, accommodation providers and others.

After the opening, they will meet at the Dunedin Centre and town hall on Wednesday and Thursday.

While in the city, CINZ is hosting 20 students.  Polytechnic tourism and hospitality lecturer Helen Geytenbeek said the event would create valuable links between theory and practice for the students.

"This will be the first time some of them have experienced a conference plenary session, and it promises to be a real learning curve for them."

Being at the conference would expose them to the business side of the tourism industry.

Enterprise Dunedin said Dunedin was "on a roll" with recently released statistics from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment showing steady growth for the city in the meetings and events sector. In the year to June 2017 there was a 5.7% increase in the number of events taking place in the city, while delegate attendance rose by 16.2% over the same period.

The number of days delegates spent in the city rose  18.4% to 139,142 , more than double the national average.  Compared with New Zealand-wide figures, Dunedin is increasingly attracting a higher share of large-scale events.

Business events tourism adviser Bree Jones said the trend was the result of a concerted effort to build capacity and connectivity across the city.

"Over the last three years, we’ve witnessed a shift in momentum largely brought about by a growth in accommodation and venue infrastructure, paired with increased flight capacity."

david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

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