Lonely Planet acclaim for Christchurch 'priceless'

22 October 2012

Lonely Planet's placement of Christchurch at number six on its list of 'Top 10 Cities for 2013' is being hailed as game-changing news for the city's tourism industry.

"To have such a respected world-wide publication single out Christchurch as an exciting, vibrant place to visit is an incredible boost for Christchurch," says Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter.

"It is priceless recognition of all the hard work that has gone on in Christchurch since the quakes and has the potential to make a huge difference to the speed at which our tourism industry recovers."

Christchurch is the only New Zealand city to make it into Lonely Planet's annual Best in Travelpublication - a collection of the world's best trends, destinations, journeys and experiences for the upcoming year.

The city was singled out by Lonely Planet for the way it was "bouncing back with a new energy and inventiveness".

"New Zealand's second largest city is rising from the rubble...with a breath-taking mix of spirit, determination and flair," Lonely Planet writers say. "The recovery effort is well under way and 2013 will be an intriguing year to join the rebirth of this proud southern city."

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker is thrilled Lonely Planet has picked up on all the exciting things happening in Christchurch and is actively promoting the city to the travelling public.

"The creativity and determination Christchurch people have shown since the quakes means we now have a city like no other in the world. There's a real energy and buzz in Christchurch which will intensify as the rebuild ramps up so it is an exciting time to visit," Mayor Parker says.

Associate Minister of Tourism Chris Tremain says Lonely Planet is one of the world's most influential travel publications and its endorsement of Christchurch as a city to visit carries great weight.

"It's a real coup to get Christchurch included in the list of top 10 cities for 2013. As a regular user of Lonely Planet when I am travelling myself I fully understand the significant value of this recommendation. On top of the government's funding for tourism recovery initiatives, this is exactly the sort of boost we needed," says Mr Tremain.

Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend says Christchurch's inclusion in the list of top 10 cities for 2013 shows the world how far the city has progressed since the quakes.

"Hopefully we're going to see a lot more visitors heading our way as a result of this endorsement. It is vital to our economy that our tourism industry recovers quickly and accolades like these are an invaluable marketing tool," Mr Townsend says.

"Lonely Planet's Best in Travel is all about setting the travel agenda for the year ahead," says Lonely Planet's Asia Pacific Sales & Marketing Director Chris Zeiher.

"In making our selections, we focus on each destination's merits and the unique experiences they offer travellers."

"We believe 2013 will be a great year to visit to Christchurch and experience the amazing energy of the city in its rebuilding phase," Mr Zeiher says.