Large groups of Chinese Amway sellers will be accommodated at one hotel complex in Queenstown’s Kawarau Falls from next month.
Beginning on April 2, more than 6000 will descend on the resort in 11 waves of about 560 visitors for the company’s annual leadership seminar programme.
Each group will spend five days at Queenstown’s Hilton hotel complex, which consists of The Hilton Queenstown Resort and Spa, Double Tree by Hilton Queenstown and Queenstown Village Apartments.
Their activities include visits to Milford Sound, Glenorchy, Arrowtown, and Walter Peak and a dinner at Coronet Peak. Tourism Industry Aotearoa hotel sector regional representative Brian Howie said the Amway visits would start just as the area moved into the shoulder season.
“The whole principle of trying to get growth in the shoulder season is something we’re very much in favour of.
“It’s the right market at the right time.”
Graham Budd, chief executive of the resort’s regional tourism organisation, Destination Queenstown, said preparations for the Amway China visit began 18 months ago.
It was estimated the event could be worth between $30million and $40million.
The business was secured in 2016, in a deal brokered by Tourism New Zealand, Destination Queenstown, Air New Zealand and Immigration NZ.
The benefits for the resort were twofold, Mr Budd said.
“Not only does the timing of the travel in our autumn shoulder season benefit the operators involved and local businesses that delegates will discover during their free time, but the scale of the programme helps to showcase our credentials and lift Queenstown’s profile.”
The town would easily cope with the influx, which follows a 1200-strong Amway contingent from Thailand in January.
In another effort to boost shoulder season tourism, Destination Queenstown has teamed up with women’s lifestyle magazine Mindfood for a second successive year. A 34-page liftout in its latest issue pitches Queenstown to women aged 35-plus who might be considering a autumn visit with friends or partners. The spread is part of a wider campaign costing $190,000.
– Philip Chandler