As the summer season winds down, Queenstown’s tourism and business events operators are gearing up for a six-week mega event – the Amway China 2018 Leadership Seminar. More than 6,000 delegates will soon arrive, spread out in waves of consecutive five-day programmes.
The choice of Queenstown is a departure from the usual high-capacity destinations such as San Francisco, Phuket and Sydney. Destination Queenstown business development director, Kiran Nambiar, says the number of activities on offer and the co-operative nature of the operators means the delegates will be “entertained by rotation of product throughout their stay”.
“Queenstown operators are highly co-operative with each other and work closely together for successful implementation of incentive itineraries that involve large groups,” he adds.
It was this flexible and creative spirit, as well as the destination’s famed natural beauty, that Amway China’s president Audie Wong, credited for the destination securing the event.
However, its smaller capacity means more waves of fewer participants. Bert Li, associate director, event production, Amway China, will deliver 11 gala events.
“The first wave will start on April 2, right after the Easter holiday,” he says. “We have 11 waves in total and each wave will have around 550-600 people.”
The last wave will depart on May 16.
“We will use Coronet Peak for both the conference and gala dinner; this is the only building that can be used for such a long period,” Li adds.
While the details of the sightseeing programme remain a surprise until the first wave arrives, it is fair to say Amway China will be taking full advantage of the destination’s high-adrenalin offerings.
In 2015, New Zealand launched a facilitated process for its Business Events Visa in China. This has resulted in dozens of event wins from China and a positive response from the local market.
“Over the last couple of years, tourism operators in Queenstown have adapted in response to the growing Chinese market,” says Nambiar. “Some businesses have developed specific new products, there is more language translation in signage and collateral, and there has been an increase in Chinese-speaking staff in sales, marketing, front-line and customer service roles.”
During the Leadership Seminar, Amway flags will be displayed across multiple Queenstown locations to make the delegates feel welcome, while the Queenstown Mayor and Deputy Mayor will each attend a gala dinner.
The 2019 edition will be held in Cairns, with more than 8,000 delegates expected to attend. They will travel in waves of 1,000 people for a five-day programme including a visit to the nearby Great Barrier Reef.