Ibis Christchurch officially opened its doors yesterday, marking a major step forward in the city’s recovery.
Following significant renovations to all 155 rooms and public areas, the new look Ibis is the first hotel to re-open in the city centre following the February 2011 earthquake.
Marking the first major development since the release of the new city blueprint, it has also been branded as a significant step in the city’s recovery.
Hotel general manager Tim Dearsley expects the development will fast track Christchurch’s recovery by encouraging business and leisure tourism to the region.
It will also ease “critical” accommodation shortages after two thirds of all CBD hotels were lost in the 2011 quake, he added.
“Christchurch has suffered enormously because of the perception that the city was closed following the earthquake,” he said. “The re-opening will help accelerate the city’s regeneration process… and highlight that the city centre is now accessible to travellers.”
With the Latimer Hotel scheduled to re-open in the coming months, followed by the Novotel mid next year, Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter expects a wave of new developments to follow.
The new convention centre will also bolster MICE tourism to the region, he told a media conference last month.
“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.”
Approximately 50 hectares of the CBD is still off limits to the public. Authorities expect the city will completely re-open by mid 2013.
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