AUSTRALASIA – Tourism industry chiefs in New Zealand have called for more convention centres and high quality hotels.
Bosses at the Tourism Industry Association and marketing body Tourism New Zealand have slammed the slow progress on the centres earmarked for Christchurch, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch is painfully slow.
They see convention delegates as a key way to fill spare capacity in the destinations.
The Government has earmarked NZ$284 million for the Christchurch project to replace an earthquake demolished building, but a start to the project has been delayed with late 2018 given as the latest estimate of completion.
Tourism Industry Association chief executive Chris Roberts said the delays on the convention centres are “incredibly frustrating”.
He told reporters: “We have plans for Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown. They all seem to be in a race at the moment to come last.
“I know around my own board table now it is referenced every board meeting, a lack of quality accommodation in New Zealand.”
The growth of international tourism arrivals to 2.9 million in 2014 with more expected each year was putting pressure on infrastructure, he said.
There was a shortfall in the number of hotels, in centres like Auckland and Queenstown, at capacity in the peak summer months, Roberts said.