Christchurch wins bid to host 1,500 surgeons in 2024

As large-scale international conferences return to New Zealand shores, so do high-value visitors.

Christchurch has been chosen as the host city for The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) Annual Scientific Congress, to be held in May 2024 at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre.

As the Southern Hemisphere’s largest meeting of surgeons and health professionals, the Congress is expected to bring more than 1,500 delegates to the city, including 1,300 international visitors.

With support from Tourism New Zealand Business Events, ChristchurchNZ Business Events successfully bid for the Congress, which was last hosted in Christchurch in 2007.

Recognised as a world-class hub for health education, research and innovation, ChristchurchNZ chief executive Alison Adams said the city will give delegates the opportunity to experience this first hand at Te Papa Hauora Health Precinct and that the Congress itself will be a significant event for Christchurch.

“We will see the central city and the wider region fill with guests for up to two weeks during the off-peak visitor season, boosting Christchurch’s hospitality, retail and support service sectors during this time, and delivering millions of dollars into our local economy,” Adams said.

“Many delegates are expected to be accompanied by their partners and family, and we are providing suggested touring itineraries to encourage delegates to travel after the conference.

“The benefits of academic conferences such as RACS are far-reaching and go beyond economic impact. Not only are they valuable contributors to growing the region’s knowledge base, but they are also an opportunity to showcase our beautiful region to an international audience and reinforce our position as a superb city to hold conferences.”

The Congress will include a five-day scientific programme with 1,000 presentations, a 2,000-square-metre exhibition, 10 official dinners, and six pre-event workshops. Attendees will include 70 international speakers, and 60 international Surgical College presidents. A mini-conference for younger delegates will take place concurrently outside of the city at one of Canterbury’s alpine retreat destinations.


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