Christchurch named as a leading visitor destination for 2014

13 January 2014

Christchurch has been named by the New York Times as one of the “52 places to go in 2014” released this weekend.

Coming in at number two behind Capetown, Christchurch is the only New Zealand city to make the list with Perth being the only Australian city.

“We are naturally delighted that Christchurch has been recognised by this prestigious publication as a must-see destination only three years after the February 2011 earthquake that devastated our beautiful city” said Tim Hunter, CEO, Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism. “We believe this will definitely encourage more Australian holiday makers to put us on their itinerary when they come to New Zealand.”

The New York Times noted that the “city is experiencing a rebirth with creativity and wit – thanks to the ingenuity of its hardy residents. It went on to say “though much of the central city has yet to be rebuilt, entrepreneurs and volunteers are finding surprising ways to make temporary use of empty lots and bring life back to downtown.”  The Gap Filler and Greening the Rubble programs, the transitional “cardboard” Cathedral and the use of shipping containers as bars and restaurants are all lauded as examples of this creativity that visitors can find in Christchurch.

This accolade comes only a month after leading travel website Trip Advisor listed Christchurch as top of the list of South Pacific Destinations on the Rise.

Trip Advisor said that Christchurch abounds with “arts, adventure and optimism” and describes it as the “gateway to the beautiful Canterbury region.”

“Clearly people are excited about what they see happening in Christchurch and share our belief that a very bright future lies ahead for our city. To get these endorsements so soon after Lonely Planet named Christchurch as one of the top places to visit in 2013 bodes well for the future of our tourism industry as we start the new year.’’

Mr Hunter says in the past 12 months significant progress has been made on the road to recovery.  Five more hotels have re-opened, the heritage tramway and the gondola have recommenced operations, and the café and shopping precinct in historic New Regent St has swung back into life.

Work has also begun on the creation of a new river park that will form a green ribbon through Christchurch’s new central business district.

“The Avon River precinct is the first in a series of anchor projects that will completely transform our central city and it is very exciting to see it taking shape,’’ Mr Hunter says.

“When all the anchor projects are complete Christchurch is going to be the envy of cities around the world and a destination unlike any other.’’

For more information about what to see and do in Christchurch go to: