A group of PCOs with the potential to bring millions of dollars of business to Queenstown were in town this week to get a first-hand look at the destination.

Destination Queenstown’s Convention Bureau targeted 19 corporate and PCOs from around New Zealand and brought them to Queenstown for a four-day familiarisation tour to experience hotels, venues and activities suitable for conferences or incentive delegates.

The program also involved 21 Queenstown operators for whom the conference and incentive (C&I) sector forms a core focus of their business.

Each invitee received a personalised itinerary with activities and site inspections tailored to suit their needs and included networking functions and a mini tradeshow to facilitate business opportunities for all attendees to meet each participating local operator.  Activities included bungy jumping, segway trips, jet boat rides, 4WD drive tours, hotel site inspections and numerous dining options, all with the added bonus of some fresh snow.

Destination Queenstown’s Convention Bureau manager Tracey Maclaren said the four-day famil was a great way to demonstrate what Queenstown has to offer conference and incentive groups rather than relying on sales calls and imagery.

“Hosting conference organisers here last year was so successful that we integrated it into our overall conference marketing strategy. This is all about showcasing Queenstown as an accessible and affordable conference and incentive destination while presenting the ‘wow’ factor for groups,” she said.

Miriam Wilkins from The Conference Company said she found the trip “invaluable”.

“The four days have been fantastic, especially with the snow and the surroundings, you couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to Queenstown. Even with the snow yesterday the operators were very versatile and adaptable, quickly changing our activities round for a great morning.”