Aussie business aids Christchurch recovery

Aussie business aids Christchurch recovery
By admin

Business is continuing to return to Christchurch in the wake of the February 2011 earthquake, with Australians driving the recovery and taking more business events over the ditch.

More than 1,200 buildings were demolished and many retailers wiped out in the Christchurch CBD following the 2011 quake. The city’s 1,500 capacity convention centre was also destroyed along with most venues in the centre of town.

Work on a $30 billion rebuild is well underway, but locals say reassuring signs of recovery are now taking shape.

Speaking with The Nibbler yesterday, The George conference co-ordinator Daniel Dunne said corporate clients are now returning to Christchurch, with demand for smaller conferences and events now gaining traction.

Domestic bookings currently dominate the market, but international clients are returning led by strong demand from Australian clients, he said.

“A quarter of our business is from Australia, so they haven’t been put off from what’s happened. They understand the city is still re-developing,” he said.

“Vibrancy is coming back to Christchurch as more restaurants and venues re-open their doors, and hotels are now busy with smaller conferences,” Dunne said, adding that some venues are having to turn business away from high demand.

Dunne expects business and leisure bookings will continue to return, but said it would still be “some time” until larger events reappear to the city.

“We expect to see more business as more venues re-open, but we are limited by size and capacity at this stage. We don’t see as many big conferences since we lost the convention centre, but that will change,” he said.

Plans are in motion for a new 2000 pax convention centre precinct, with further details to be delivered next month. The development is set for completion in March 2017.

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