Slowdown In Christchurch Tourism
With the aftermath of the Christchurch Earthquake it is now apparent that one area of concern is the collapse of the Tourism Industry within the City. Before the destructive earthquake sequence began in September 2010, tourism contributed $2.3 billion a year to Canterbury’s economy. It has shrunk by at least 15 per cent. In the year ended February 2012, Christchurch lost over one million guest nights – a third of its visitors staying overnight in the city. International visitor guest nights fell by a whopping 73 per cent. Lack of accommodation, particularly in the hotel and backpacker sectors after many quake-damaged buildings had to be demolished, was also impeding the industry’s recovery.
The New Zealand Tourism Industry will be looking at ways to assist operators caught in the disaster zone. Evidence of assistance was shown last week with the NZRU hosting the second Rugby Test between New Zealand and Ireland in the city.