Christchurch in fresh Australia appeal

Christchurch in fresh Australia appeal
By admin

Christchurch today made fresh appeals for stay-away Australians to return to the region as officials spoke of their five-year vision to re-energise and transform the city.

While many markets have recovered since the 2011 earthquake, Australians are still reluctant to travel, a situation which is hampering not just Christchurch but the South Island as a whole.

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter said the city is still 70,000 short of the typical 400,000 annual arrivals from Australia.

The latest effort to kick start the Tasman market will begin next month with a three month campaign focusing on “people doing stuff and having fun”, Hunter told a briefing this morning on Christchurch’s plans.

“The driver will be fabulous deals,” he said.

This will be followed early next year with another push focusing on self drive trips under the slogan the “Best Road Trip of Your Life”.

“It’s time to lift our head up in Australia and say we miss our Australian friends,” Hunter said.

Australians have been slower to return than other markets because of their close proximity to NZ and greater exposure to the damage caused by the earthquake, he suggested.

The ambitious blueprint of a “reimagined” low rise city with green space and dedicated precincts to health, culture and sport should act as a catalyst for recovery, Hunter added.

The 155-room Ibis will become the first hotel to re-open in Christchurch on September 4 with the property's manager Tim Dearsley saying it will be a crucial step in the city’s recovery.

“It will send out a very positive signal to the rest of the world and put Christchurch back on the map,” he said.


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