Christchurch has won the rights to host two major international conferences in 2017 and 2018, bringing 1200 delegates and more than $3 million to the economy.

The convention bureau partnered with Tourism New Zealand to prepare the winning bids for the 2017 International Conference on Computers in Education and the 2018 Asia-Oceania Conference of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine.

“These are two high-profile conference wins for Christchurch, putting our city back on the world stage as an international conference destination,” Christchurch and Canterbury Convention Bureau (CCCB) manager, Caroline Blanchfield, said.

“Our strategy to work in partnership with the Tourism New Zealand Business Events team to attract world-class events in our fields of knowledge and expertise is really starting to payoff.

“Looking to the future and targeting sectors where our region excels and has enthusiastic conference champions has helped the city succeed in winning these bids,” she said.

The 2017 International Conference on Computers in Education (ICCE) will see Christchurch hosting more than 400 IT and education experts from all over the world for five days of plenary meetings in November 2017, worth an estimated $900,000 for the local economy, while the Asia-Oceania Conference of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (AOCPRM) will be held in November 2018, attracting 800 delegates and an estimated $2.1 million to the city.

“With a reputation for being a world-class hub for IT innovation, Christchurch is ideally placed to host a conference that focuses on Computers in Education,” Ms Blanchfield said.

“We are recognised for leading technology in our schools, world-class universities, Institute of Technology, Crown Research Institutes, organisations and private companies.”

University of Canterbury Computer Science and Software Engineering Professor Tanja Mitrovic worked with CCCB and TNZ to put together the bid for the conference, which was presented at the 2014 ICCE conference in Japan in December.

TNZ international business events manager, Bjoern Spreitzer, said international events such as this provide a huge opportunity to grow the value of visitors to New Zealand.

“This is what our work in this sector is all about, attracting people to New Zealand for business purposes who previously might not have visited. They bring new knowledge to New Zealand and we are encouraging them to explore further and make a holiday of it.”

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