Christchurch dishes out warm welcome

Christchurch dishes out warm welcome

Over 600 delegates arriving for the conference this week were treated to a warm Christchurch welcome.

Christchurch Airport’s chief aeronautical and commercial officer, Justin Watson, says the airport, in collaboration with ChristchurchNZ, was delighted to welcome the delegates.

'As the Gateway to the South Island, we were delighted to welcome the conference delegates to our place in the world.

'In the spirit of innovation and collaboration, Christchurch is excited to provide a welcome desk for international delegates, to make sure they experience our famous southern hospitality right from their arrival. Having these delegates come to Christchurch for the Linux conference will bring a great economic boost for the city and we know they will enjoy experiencing New Zealand’s newest city and famous surrounds.'

ChristchurchNZ general manager destination and attraction Loren Heaphy was thrilled delegates would get a warm welcome as soon as they arrived in Christchurch.

'There are over 600 delegates attending this respected technical conference being held at the University of Canterbury from 21-25 January and this is a great way to make sure their experience in our city of exploration and opportunity starts on a high.

'We are strongly encouraging conference organisers for future international conferences to consider providing an airport welcome area as part of their remit in bringing business events to our city. We want these high value visitors to experience our manaakitanga immediately on arrival, enjoy their time here in the city, help grow our knowledge economy and explore the wider Canterbury region.'

The welcome area was set up for two days before the conference started and provided an easy way for delegates to register and start to network with their peers from around the world, before they even get to the conference venue.

Tourism New Zealand’s global business events manager, Anna Fennessy says a welcome desk is an excellent addition to make conference delegates feel at home as soon as they step off the plane.

'We pride ourselves on being great hosts in New Zealand so it’s fantastic to know these delegates will experience manaakitanga as soon as they land in Christchurch.'

Conference chair Steven Sykes, of the University of Canterbury’s Computer Science and Software Engineering department, has been involved from the inception – winning the right to host the 2019 conference in Christchurch nearly two years ago.

He says it’s great to have been able to offer this welcome to delegates.

'The feedback has been great. Delegates have been able to get an orientation and meet up with other conference attendees immediately and network straightaway. It really does have an impact on the way they feel coming into a new city and the memories they will take away with them.'