Wellington City Council gave the green light for the new Conference and Exhibition Centre (CEC). Construction on the 18,000-square-metre (sqm) CEC, which features 10,000sqm of dedicated convention space spread across its top two floors and a 1,650 sqm ground-floor exhibition gallery to accommodate touring exhibitions, is set to start next year.
WREDA’s Regional Development Destination and Attraction General Manager David Perks says: “Wellington has always been competitive with the conference venues available in the city but the WCEC will take things to a new level. It will enable the city to not only retain its current share of conferences but also put in bids for larger international conferences that would simply have been too big for existing venues. It will put us on an equal footing with Auckland and Christchurch who both have conference venues under construction, and the Australian market where all major cities have purpose-built convention facilities.”
Business and Economic Research Ltd (BERL) CEC business case reveals the new convention centre would host 111 new events each year, bringing nearly 149,000 new delegate days to Wellington, a 16% growth.
Tourism New Zealand’s Global Business Events Manager, Anna Fennessy says the development of a large-scale conference venue is a huge win for Wellington. “International business events deliver a range of benefits beyond the significant economic contributions they provide to the local economy. They have the potential to generate long-lasting positive social change in our communities through the expert knowledge delegates bring with them and they allow Kiwis to share their expertise and knowledge too. The introduction of a large-scale conference venue for Wellington means these benefits will be absorbed across the region for years to come.”