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AEG Ogden Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Harvey Lister welcomed the Queensland Government’s announcement of a $176 million upgrade of the award-winning Cairns Convention Centre.

Lister said the government’s investment would deliver significant economic benefits to the Cairns economy over the next decade and beyond.

“Not only will it enable the center to host additional events, it will enhance Cairns’ standing as a world leader in business events and tourist destination,” he says.

Cairns Convention Centre, which has been operated by AEG Ogden since it opened in 1996 and twice named winner of the World’s Best Congress Centre (2004 and 2014), will undergo a refurbishment of existing facilities and an expansion providing an additional 3,000 square meters of meeting, banquet  and exhibition space, overlooking Trinity Inlet.

Work is due to commence in June 2020 with the refurbishment to be completed by November 2020 and expansion by 2021-22.

Lister said it was expected the new meeting spaces would add an additional $30 to $50 million economic impact to the region.

“One of the main selling points going forward will be the ability of the Cairns Convention Centre to host multiple events at the same time, such as a basketball game and a convention or two conventions.

“Conference growth in Tropical North Queensland has been constrained as a result of the center not being able to accommodate two large conventions simultaneously during the convention season.

“This expansion by Government will largely resolve those constraints, opening up additional economic benefits and tourism opportunities for Cairns and Tropical North Queensland,” he says.

Under General Manager Janet Hamilton’s leadership, the center was currently developing a sales and marketing strategy focusing on national and international clients particularly in Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific region.

“It’s important we continue building upon the momentum being generated at the center. In 2018, venue bookings generated almost 134,000 room nights and contributed about $80 million in direct spending to the regional economy. This upgrade and expansion will allow us to continue playing a significant role in bringing high yielding business event delegates to the region,” Lister says.

AEG Ogden is part of AEG Facilities of the United States, a division of AEG, the world’s leading sports and entertainment company. AEG Ogden manages venues throughout the Asia Pacific and Middle East, including Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Cairns Convention Centre, Te Pae Christchurch (opening 2020), Darwin Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (Muscat), and ICC Sydney; Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane; and arenas in Brisbane, Sydney, Newcastle, Perth, and Dubai. For more info, visit aegogden.com

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