22 Apr 2016

Queenstown leaders revel in Amway deal

10:24 am on 22 April 2016

Queenstown businesses are thrilled that 10,000 Amway China sales staff will travel to the tourist town over the next several years.

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Photo: 123rf.com

They say it will bring at least $50 million of revenue, smoothing out income for the lakes area throughout the year.

Each year, Amway China rewards its top sales people with an all-expenses paid international trip as part of the company's sale incentive scheme.

Prime Minister John Key announced during his visit in China that Tourism New Zealand had made a successful bid, and 10,000 of Amway's employees will travel south to enjoy five days in Queenstown.

Amway China is the largest single Amway organisation in the world, with a sales body of 7000, and more than 190,000 contractors.

The company was looking for somewhere to send 10,000 of its sales people for a series of training seminars.

Kevin Bowler of Tourism New Zealand said securing the deal took a lot of work.

"It has taken us quite a long time," he said.

"We have had to bid against other destinations.

"It has been a collaborative effort between us, the local council, Destination Queenstown, Immigration New Zealand, Air New Zealand, we have all worked on this.

He said the deal was the outcome of a very successful negotiation.

The Amway sales people will come in a series of waves - 500 strong - and will stay for five days at a time.

The seminars will start in Autumn 2018.

Amway China president Audie Wong.

Amway China president Audie Wong. Photo: RNZ/ Demelza Leslie

Queenstown Chamber of Commerce chief executive Ann Lockhar said the timing of the seminars could not be better.

"They will sensibly be in our quieter periods which is in autumn and again into spring and summer," she said.

"That is something that the Tourism Office is always wanting to drive and that is to increase occupancy and visitor numbers during the shoulder seasons."

Mr Bowler called the deal a massive win, adding the $50m figure was Amway's spend alone, and individual people could easily spend more.

Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Vanessa van Uden said her town would pull out all the stops to welcome Amway China's sales representatives.

Air New Zealand has also praised the deal and Graham Budd of Destination Queenstown said it would deliver a significant boost to the business community.

However, one small niggle has been thrown up by the event.

Queenstown has only just enough facilities for 500-strong sales talks.

Prime Minister John Key announces Queenstown has successfully won a bid to host Amway's top sales people in 2018. The announcement took place at the Kerry Centre in Shanghai.

Prime Minister John Key announces Queenstown has successfully won a bid to host Amway's top sales people in 2018. Photo: RNZ / Demelza Leslie

Ms Lockhart said it proved once again that her chamber was right to push for a full convention centre to be built in the city.

"The chamber has been lobbying for and supporting the development of a convention centre for some time now and we are very hopeful that we may get that project underway in the next 12 months."

Plans for the centre were still not complete and more investment was needed but she was optimistic that it would be built.

Amway China is headquartered in Guangzhou in southern China.