Aussies steer clear of Christchurch

Aussies steer clear of Christchurch
By admin


Australia has been one of the slowest markets to return to Christchurch following last year’s earthquake despite the nation’s “bravado”, tourism leaders revealed in New Zealand today.
Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter said enticing its neighbours back has been “hard work”.
“Australians, surprisingly for a country that exhibits so much bravado, have been very reluctant to visit,” Hunter said.
The exhaustive number of stories and images of the tragedy has been behind that reluctance, he suggested.
However, a campaign late last year promoting a South Island road trip did go some way to improving visitation with losses from Australia halved in the February quarter.
Showcasing Christchurch to Australian media and the travel trade, plus the launch of a campaign in the next six months, will seek to “address some of those negative perceptions”, Hunter said.
Earlier, Hunter said the unveiling of details in late July of the central city plan – that will include the location of a new convention centre – will be a pivotal step for the city.
“That will be the step to get tourism back on track,” he said.
Around seven or eight hotels will re-open by the end of 2014 although that will see only 60% of the pre-earthquake capacity restored.

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