The Christchurch & Canterbury Convention Bureau (CCCB) is downsizing its sales efforts to Australia after last year’s devastating earthquake has taken its toll on demand.
Most hotels and conference facilities in Christchurch’s city centre were destroyed by the February 2011 earthquake, with many buildings still waiting to be demolished.
The Christchurch Convention Centre also sustained significant damage, with repairs not set for completion until 2017.
With limited facilities currently available to conference delegates, CCCB has announced it will step away from international markets and concentrate its efforts on domestic bookings over the next 12-18 months.
Under the changes, CCCB will not renew the contract of its Australian representative when it expires in June. Instead, it will focus its efforts on local incentive travel and domestic conferences.
CCCB chief executive Tim Hunter said the move reflected current market conditions, adding that the bureau would ramp up its Australian sales efforts when more hotels are operational by mid 2014.
CCCB manager Caroline Blanchfield remained confident bookings would bounce back when the new convention centre was complete. “A lot of Australian and New Zealand PCOs are telling us they are very keen to bring big business to Christchurch as soon as we have plans in place for our new, larger convention centre and central city hotels… and we are already starting to see good progress,” she said.
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