Christchurch appeals for Aussies to return

Christchurch appeals for Aussies to return
By admin


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Christchurch appeals for Aussies to return

Christchurch appeals for Aussies to return
By admin

Christchurch is urging Australians to return as the $30 billion city rebuild gets underway, with MICE tourism set to be a key component of the city’s recovery.

With more than 1,200 buildings demolished in the Christchurch CBD and many retailers wiped out since the 2010/11 earthquakes, annual arrivals from Australia are down 70,000 on typical figures.

Visitor arrivals from Asia are making some headway, but Australian visitor numbers are still well below pre-quake levels.

Following 18 months of “intensive work”, Christchurch mayor Bob Parker said the city was ready to welcome MICE business while the city rebuild continues.

He conceded that visitors, not sympathy, was needed to aid the city’s recovery.

“We need people to come and see what we are doing, and how we are recovering, so we can send a positive sign around the world,” he told a briefing yesterday. “We don’t need any more sympathy, we need people to come back.”

The blueprint for the “reimagined” low rise city features a purpose built convention centre, open green space and dedicated health, culture and sport precincts.

The refurbished Ibis Christchurch is also scheduled to open on September 4, ahead of the Novotel and Latimer Hotel in the coming months.

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter predicted the developments would bolster MICE tourism to the region, and remained confident visitors would not be perturbed by ongoing construction work in the city centre.

“Great creative opportunities have blossomed out of this adversity… we are not just rebuilding, we are reinventing Christchurch,” he said. “We have been working hard to re-image Christchurch, and believe this blueprint plan will be a great catalyst for more development.”

Christchurch will next month launch a new campaign to drive visitor numbers, with competitive deals to head the initiative.

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