What does New Zealand really think of Christchurch?

23 June 2014

By Kelly Stock, Media and Communications Manager, Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism

Hopefully you're aware of the campaign that CCT are currently running, called Christchurch on Sale, which focuses on the Auckland and Wellington leisure markets. It went live on 13 June and runs until the end of July. Visitors staying at one of the nine participating hotels in July receive a Christchurch on Sale discount card on check in. This gives them access to a host of deals across the city, including up to 20% off hospitality venues, up to 75% off activities, and up 30% off selected retail during the month of July.

Christchurch on Sale is the first Christchurch campaign that we've run in the domestic market since the earthquake. Why is this you may ask? Surely the domestic market should've been targeted long ago since they're so close?

It's precisely this reason that until now we haven't run a campaign to our fellow Kiwis, encouraging them to rediscover the city. They see everything. Well no, not everything, just half of the story - all the troubles, struggles and disappointment that our city goes through on a day-to-day basis. Whether they open up the Stuff webpage, turn on John Campbell, or pick up the phone and talk to their brother/sister/mother or friend who lives in Christchurch and is still battling with their insurance company and EQC frustrations. Yes, locally we're still heavily in the midst of these issues but we need to step back and remember that the visitor experience when here for the weekend is very different. So with the support of the industry, we decided that now was the right time to start to really push the "Christchurch is open and ready for business" message.

It’s going to take some time to change some people’s misconceptions of Christchurch – but we’ve always had this challenge.

Kelly Stock, Media and Communications Manager

We know that some people are going to find it emotional, especially with domestic visitors who knew the city well, but we also know that people will come to visit, lured in by the great deals on offer, and head home with a new perspective on Christchurch. There's life in the city – great restaurants, shopping, and activities – maybe, just maybe it isn't all doom and gloom like they hear on the TV. Some of the landmarks they remember are gone, but it's nice to still see New Regent Street and the Museum. And what about the new Cardboard Cathedral, and Re:START? Amazingly some of the locals even look happy!

It's going to take some time to change some people's misconceptions of Christchurch – but we've always had this challenge. Christchurch was often thought of by Aucklanders as "dreary" and the uber-cool Wellingtonians thought we were "so passé", but we know how resilient and determined that Cantabrians can be, and with my rose coloured glasses firmly on full display, I have faith that in time the rest of New Zealand will be looking here with envy! Now's the time to start re-marketing Christchurch to Kiwis and help open their minds to the new adventure this city has to offer.


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