Hotel rooms and city streets across Ōtautahi Christchurch are being filled with visitors during the shoulder and low season thanks to a new strategic public-private partnership.
The Ōtautahi Visitation Partnership is a combined effort by hoteliers, Kiwrail’s Great Journeys, and ChristchurchNZ, the city’s economic development agency, aimed at shifting perceptions and driving visitation to New Zealand’s second largest city.
The three-year partnership was established in 2019, spearheaded by ChristchurchNZ. All partners invested to varying levels, with their combined investment aimed at making the largest possible impact.
Boyd Warren, ChristchurchNZ General Manager Commercial, said the fund was now approximately $1 million, with about 75 per cent coming from private sector partners.
“This shows real leadership by our private sector businesses to come together with the public sector on the basis of trust, ambition and a shared problem statement,” Warren said.
Hotelier Bradley Conder, of Novotel and ibis, said he wanted to be “part of the solution” and didn’t hesitate to get involved.
“Some other regions have done similar and have had phenomenal results,” Conder said.
“The Regional Hoteliers Association approached ChristchurchNZ because we had a shared problem that we were all trying to tackle individually. ChristchurchNZ was really good at listening – they grabbed our idea and ran with it.”
The first co-investment from the partnership was Explore Something New, a marketing campaign with Air New Zealand aimed at driving spring travel to Ōtautahi Christchurch. This resulted in a 15 per cent increase in regional bookings to Christchurch compared to the same period in 2018.
“This is just the first campaign to be funded by this partnership, with more planned for the future,” Warren said.
“We’re excited about the opportunities this fund opens up for Ōtautahi Christchurch and shows the whole is very much greater than the sum of its parts.”
Below is a list of current partners:
Novotel Christchurch Cathedral
Novotel Christchurch Airport
Breakfree on Cashel
Sudima Christchurch City
Sudima Christchurch Airport
Commodore Airport Hotel
Great Journeys of New Zealand
Quality Hotel Elms
ibis Christchurch Hotel
Rydges Latimer Christchurch