Rare window opens for Queenstown

SARAH LAMONT
Last updated 05:00 01/03/2012
Study Queenstown
SARAH LAMONT/Fairfax NZ

JET SET: Study Queenstown organised a jet boat ride for 44 agents from around the world who are in the resort for the Australia New Zealand Agent Workshop.

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The pressure is on for education providers and youth organisations in Queenstown as agents from 30 countries descend on the resort for the Australia New Zealand Agent Workshop.

The ANZA workshop is hosted once a year in New Zealand or Australia. The first event in New Zealand was held in Auckland in 2009. This year, it was scheduled to be held in Christchurch but, because of building demolition, it was moved to Queenstown. Event convener Rod Hearps said this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Queenstown educators to showcase their institutions to 150 agents from 30 countries.

"That's something I can say confidently that they've never ever had and could be a very long time before it happens again."

It featured 155 buyers and agents from 30 countries in Queenstown who would meet 105 educational institutions from Australia and New Zealand, including high schools, polytechnics, universities and language schools.

There would also be exhibitors such as AJ Hackett Bungy and Ngai Tahu tourism targeting international students.

Mr Hearps said up to 100,000 international students came to New Zealand annually and generated significant revenue for the economy.

About 70 per cent of these students went to Auckland and that was why it was such a rare thing to come to Queenstown, because there were so few providers here, he said.

"That's another reason why it's such a big opportunity for Queenstown institutions and youth organisations.

"Queenstown educators are doing a great deal to help bring the event here and are co-operating and helping set it up."

He did not know figures for New Zealand but said that, in Australia, international education generated more money than tourism.

Agents were key to these industries because they brought about 70 per cent of international students in to New Zealand.

Queenstown Resort College international marketing and recruitment manager Duncan Sadleir said this event put Queenstown on the map as an education destination, with seven providers in the resort.

"It's an iconic place for New Zealand and has a fantastic number of high-quality providers here."

A lot of time was spent travelling around the world meeting these agents and now it was an opportunity to actually show them Queenstown and have them see, feel and live it, he said.

About 50 agents toured Queenstown education institutions by foot yesterday before taking a jet boat ride organised by Study Queenstown, a collective group representing all the education providers in the resort. That was followed by a networking lunch, a seminar and an evening welcome reception at Skyline.

The workshop and exhibition hall opens at the Queenstown Events Centre today and runs until tomorrow.

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