Christchurch is to host the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) International Biology Symposium in 2021.
The winning bid was presented by Professor Craig Cary, Director for the International Centre for Terrestrial Antarctic Research at the University of Waikato and Deputy Director of the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute, on behalf of a group of New Zealand and Australian scientists.
Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) Business Events, through its Conference Assistance Programme (CAP), worked with Christchurch and Canterbury Convention Bureau (CCCB) to put together the successful bid. It is the second major international conference win for Christchurch this week.
CCCB Manager Caroline Blanchfield says the 13th SCAR Biology Symposium will attract 350 of the world’s top Antarctic scientists, and bring an estimated economic impact of $730,000 to the city.
“As a major gateway to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, Christchurch is the ideal place for Antarctic researchers to meet. Our modern central city facilities including the new Convention Centre, accommodation and hospitality venues and our location in the heart of the South Island make Christchurch an enticing destination for conferences,” she says.
Professor Cary says Christchurch has had a longstanding and productive Antarctic history since the early era of explorers, and is now the logistics operations hub for four national Antarctic programmes – New Zealand, USA, Italy and South Korea.
“This is an excellent opportunity to showcase Australasian Antarctic science to the world in Christchurch,” he says.
TNZ Manager Business Events and Premium Lisa Gardiner, says this is another great result for Christchurch and wider New Zealand.
“Conferences like this contribute millions to the economy every year and allow New Zealand the opportunity to showcase our world class event offering. It also highlights the vast range of expertise New Zealand can share with the world, in this case Antarctic biology.
“Targeting the international business events sector is an important part of Tourism New Zealand’s strategy to grow the value of international visitors to New Zealand. Business events and incentive delegates have the potential to spread visitors across the off-peak season, support employment and bring significant economic benefit to the country,” she says.
Caroline Blanchfield says SCAR 2021 delegates will be welcomed by a team of people who are passionate about Antarctic biology and the issues affecting it, and eager to share their knowledge and learn more.
“Their experience will be rewarding from a scientific perspective, but will also leave them with an appreciation for a progressive city with a huge heart,” she says.