Cricket world cup matches great boost for tourism

30 July 2013

News that Christchurch has been named a host city for the opening match of the next Cricket World Cup is being welcomed by the city’s tourism leaders.

They say having the ICC 2015 Cricket World Cup played, in part, in Christchurch will not only bring an influx of sports fans to the city, but also boost Christchurch’s international profile at a critical time in its recovery.

Christchurch’s hosting rights are dependent on planning approval being given for the further redevelopment of Hagley Oval as an international-standard venue. The Environment Court is currently considering whether that approval should be given.

“The media exposure that will come with this tournament could be invaluable in getting the message across that Christchurch has bounced back from the quakes and is capable of holding world-class events,” says Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chairman Dave Hawkey.

“It will give us the perfect opportunity to showcase our new and innovative city and to demonstrate to visiting fans and cricket followers world-wide why we were named in the 2013 Lonely Planet Best in Travel Guide as the number six city in the world,” Mr Hawkey says.

With another 600 hotel beds due to come on stream between now and the end of this year he says there will be enough accommodation in the city to cope with the expected influx of cricket fans.

Sports tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of the travel and tourism industry.

“Major international sporting events like 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup bring new visitors who stay longer and are likely to spend more than other leisure travellers. Christchurch City Council research indicates an average spend of around $390 per day by each visitor,” Mr Hawkey says.

"When Christchurch hosted the IPC Athletics in 2011 it drew more than 12,600 visitors to the city and provided a significant boost to our economy so it is in all our interests that we continue to attract world-class sporting events.’’

Late last year Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism helped host a delegation from ICC and gave them a tour of the city, showed them plans for the future city and the rebuild work underway.