Only Half of The Hotel Rooms in Christchurch Are Presently Occupied

With more tourists visiting central cities like Akaroa, Hanmer, Waipara, Tekapo and the ski fields, it has damaged the booking reservation among Christchurch hoteliers.

With the opening of the 17-level redeveloped Crowne Plaza, Hospitality New Zealand’s Canterbury spokesman Peter Morrison said the record had been one of the worst since the 2011 earthquakes. He explained the current challenges faced by the hoteliers was the lack of civic amenities, such as a convention centre, an all-sports stadium and other attractions.

However, the low occupancy of the city’s hotels with less than 50%occupancy for many, is not reflected in the overall rising tourist spend in Canterbury this year.

Caroline Blanchfield, business development manager of ChristchurchNZ, the promotional organisation led by the Christchurch City Council, said Canterbury had been performing well despite few visitors were coming into the CBD still.

“We used to say we were a gateway city, now we say it’s a slippery gateway where visitors get into camper vans and rental cars and slip away to other places,” she said.

“We now have new accommodation available, which is important to give overseas agencies confidence to book rooms but there’s a time lag.”

“The central city doesn’t have the critical mass yet which is why we’ve set up ChristchurchNZ to promote it.”

Ideally, Christchurch can be the hub for visitors to stay a night or two before visiting nearby sights and attractions and then come back again, she said.

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment shows that the spending in Christchurch was 5 % higher in May 2017 than at the same time last year. The expenditure in South Canterbury has also increased by 9%. Last year’s Kaikoura earthquake has affected the expenditure in North Canterbury with a drop of 4%.


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