Tourism Industry Aotearoa and the Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust have cancelled TRENZ 2020, the biggest industry event of the year.
Around 1500 delegates were expected to attend the event, which was to be held from 18-21 May and hosted at Christchurch’s Horncastle Arena.
TIA made the decision yesterday following the Government’s call on Monday for large events to be cancelled to combat the spread of Covid-19.
The requirement for almost all overseas arrivals to self-isolate for 14 days would have prevented overseas buyers from attending the event if the restriction was still in place by 18 May. Around 380 travel and tourism buyers from 30 overseas markets attended last year’s TRENZ at Rotorua.
“Only a short time ago we remained optimistic that May was far enough away to confidently proceed with TRENZ 2020,” said TIA chief executive Chris Roberts.
“However, the New Zealand Government has made the call that all large public events and gatherings should be cancelled as part of New Zealand’s national response to Covid-19. We have been working through the details with the host region and our insurers and can now confirm that TRENZ 2020 is cancelled.
“We know that this will come as an enormous disappointment both to the delegates who were due to attend the show and the team who delivers it every year. However, the health and welfare of New Zealanders and visitors must remain the priority for all.”
Roberts said TIA was aware of the impact that cancelling TRENZ would have on operators and it was investigating other ways to support the industry.
TIA did not reveal where next year’s event would be held.
TRENZ was held in Christchurch in 2000, 2005 and 2006, but damage from the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes took the city out of the potential hosting role until this year.
ChristchurchNZ’s general manager of destination and attraction, Loren Heaphy, said: “While we are bitterly disappointed that Christchurch will not play host to TRENZ in 2020, we respect the decision of the New Zealand government and the Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust, as the owner of TRENZ, and understand that the health and safety of delegates and the public must remain the utmost priority.”
TRENZ was forecast to have an economic impact on Christchurch city of $1m from the actual event and more than $9m in longterm benefit.
“We had an incredible line up of famils, networking events and surprises planned for delegates, and we hope we will be able to welcome TRENZ to Christchurch in the future, so we are able to showcase our city of exploration to this highly influential group of tourism professionals,” said Heaphy.
“As Covid-19 continues to impact the global tourism industry, we wish to express Christchurch’s solidarity for our travel trade partners who are working hard to support thousands of displaced visitors to New Zealand. Our focus will now be on supporting our local operators through this new and unprecedented world event.”
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