Christchurch hopeful for strong recovery

By admin


Occupancy numbers are bouncing back for many Christchurch hotels despite further earthquakes last month, but the outlook remains uncertain as aftershocks continue to shake the region.
After struggling with occupancy rates following the 6.3 magnitude earthquake in February last year, many Christchurch hotels are again nearing capacity as visitors return to the troubled city.
Boutique hotel, The George, recorded "strong bookings" over the Christmas period, the hotel's director of sales and marketing, Jan Stuart, told Travel Today, with forward bookings also looking "positive" into March, 2012.
With most of the city centre still closed following the February earthquake, Stuart expressed relief at the figures, but explained the outlook remained "uncertain".
"We're experiencing aftershocks all the time and no one has any idea when, or if, they will stop," she said. "Residents are frustrated and the quakes are deterring some tourists."
With 9,500 aftershocks since September 2010, including a 5.8 magnitude quake on December 23, Stuart admitted tourism had "softened" in recent months.
But with efforts to encourage tourists back to the region well underway, such as a new events calendar and reduced accommodation rates, Stuart remained confident Christchurch will make a strong recovery this year.
"Visitors will return to Christchurch and corporate travel will pick up again this year as more hotels re-open in March," she said. "We're positive things will turn around in 2012."

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