The quake affected city is rebuilding a re-imagined destination focused on resilience, creativity and innovation to attract travellers back, as unveiled by Mayor Bob Parker in Sydney yesterday.
While the planned blueprint for the city will take form over the coming five years, Mr Parker encourages travellers to visit in the mean time to see and experience the bold transition.
Joined by Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive officer Tim Hunter and Ibis Christchurch hotel manager Tim Dearsley, Mr Parker pointed out the citys already improved attractions and infrastructure.
There are still 8,800 beds available to book in Christchurch, with 90 percent of main attractions still operating, Mr Hunter pointed out, along with the citys appealing day trip options and the popular rail journeys.
According to Mr Hunter, there is no need for travellers to think they have no place to eat or drink while in the city as the innovative pop-up bars and restaurants are ever present and easily accessible.
The city has already opened a new airport terminal, information centre, court theatre rugby stadium and a restart container mall.
The bold and innovative plan for future development rebuilding Christchurch incorporates shrinking the size of the CBD to make it more compact with people-friendly space framed with parks.
The construction of a new Convention Centre which will cater for up to 2000 delegates and will also include two hotels and retail is a catalyst for further hospitality-related investment.
The first hotel to open its doors since the quake, the Ibis Christchurch will welcome travellers on 4 September and has positive forward booking numbers. The Novotel will follow suit, opening half way through 2013.
Christchurch is still down 19 percent on international arrivals however is seeing strong growth from the Asian market with travellers from Singapore, Malaysia and China returning.
Mr Parker said while the UK and US market is slow, due to economic influence, the Australian market is not as strong as other returning markets.
In an effort to get Aussies back to Christchurch, Mr Parker revealed an upcoming campaign themed Christchurch Reimagined that is focused on the Australian market and backed by fantastic travel deals to launch at the end of September. This will be followed up by a different campaign early next year featuring Spectacular South Island Road Trips.
Mr Parker concluded with a showing of inspiration, saying Christchurch is now the new normal, we just changed the rules.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W