4 June 2015
By Julia Panfilo, Trade Marketing Manager, Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism
Alongside 20 tourism operators CCT represented our city and the region a few weeks back at the tourism industry's biggest annual trade show TRENZ. The overall feeling was very positive, and many Canterbury operators commented that this has been the most successful TRENZ post 2011.
Operators found that there is a lot more interest in product from our region and the conversations are no longer about whether Christchurch is ready for business, but instead how we can grow business for the city.
CCT get asked a lot of questions about how the international travel trade are viewing the city. We have summarised the feedback we received from the 110 appointments from a mix of markets below.
Feedback from the Buyers about Christchurch
- We have seen an increase of Christchurch and Canterbury content in trade brochures, largely due to more accommodation properties reopening.
- The increase in the hotel inventory (3 more hotels reopened in the last 12 months adding 332 rooms) has influenced the return of some coach touring series who now include Christchurch in their itineraries. This has had a positive impact by increasing the length of stay for FIT visitors.
- More accommodation is needed to further grow the demand for Christchurch as it is still a challenge to find the required style of accommodation during high season.
- Many buyers were impressed with the innovation showcased in the architecture – Ilex Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre, Shigeru Ban’s Transitional ‘cardboard’ Cathedral and the newly completed Deloitte building. Re: Start Mall remains to be seen as a flagship project that showcases urban regeneration, symbolises Christchurch’s resilience, and at the same time positively adds to visitor experience.
- The increase in the number of restaurants and cafés opening in Christchurch (close to 50 in the last 12 months) has been a huge contributor to a better visitor experience in the city. Vibrant and diverse hospitality offering play a vital part in destination’s tourism offering.
- Unfortunately the inner city environment is still a concern for many buyers. Some have visited the city prior to TRENZ and were disappointed to see the state of Cathedral Square and other areas that are yet to be redeveloped.
- The knowledge of our region demonstrated by the buyers from China has improved significantly and there is a lot more interest from this market in our region compared to last year.
- The number of North American buyers we met with has increased significantly reinforcing the fact that this market is hot and will deliver further growth for New Zealand and our region.
TRENZ is New Zealand’s biggest annual international tourism event. New Zealand providers of visitor accommodation, transport, activities and attractions showcase their product to more than 270 international travel and tourism buyers from New Zealand’s major and emerging visitor markets.
Global Tourism Buyers see TRENZ as a fantastic opportunity to view the range of visitor experiences available for their clients, to make contact with tourism businesses in New Zealand, and to negotiate contracts for supply at one central location.