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Spotlight firmly on Christchurch and Canterbury following spectacular summer season

4 May 2018

A thriving hospitality scene, brand new retail precincts and booming hotel sector are proving a hit with visitors to the South Island’s largest city.

All this is on show next week at TRENZ off the back of Christchurch’s spectacular summer season, which saw record-breaking tourist numbers inject more than $1.24 billion into the region’s economy.

More than 30 tourism operators from Christchurch and Canterbury are exhibiting at this year’s event in Dunedin, including 10 operators exhibiting for the first time – from new scenic flight operator to a brand new hotel.

ChristchurchNZ chief executive Joanna Norris says the region is enjoying the spotlight with figures showing February’s tourism spend up 21 percent on last year.

“It’s great to see visitors and travel trade increasingly including Christchurch in their itineraries, staying for longer and experiencing the wider region.”

The city’s hotel sector is booming with two new hotels – Crowne Plaza Christchurch and Distinction Christchurch Hotel – opening their doors in the past 12 months, adding 384 new rooms to the city’s accommodation portfolio.

Other highlights include:

  • Christchurch’s brand new $140 million hospitality complex The Terrace is now open with vibrant new bars and restaurants while the city’s biggest retail development, The Crossing, is also open for business.
  • State Highway 1 to Kaikōura has re-opened 24/7 allowing visitors to enjoy some of the best whale and dolphin watching experiences in New Zealand.
  • The region’s Alpine Pacific Touring Route has a new website encouraging visitors to explore the wider North Canterbury region.

Norris says there’s plenty more to look forward to as well, with an amazing new central library on the way, a Hoyts cinema complex opening in the CBD, Christchurch Convention Centre construction underway and an impressive central-city farmers’ market complex in the pipeline.

And with recent confirmation from central government that Christchurch is to receive a Multi-Purpose Arena and Metro Sports Facility, “our city is also set to regain its status as the events capital of the South Island”, she says.

March figures show Christchurch received $305 million in tourism spend – the nation’s second-highest share behind Auckland and 11 percent of national spend.

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