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Canterbury ready, willing and able to show visitors a great time

Canterbury ready, willing and able to show visitors a great time
May 10, 2011

Canterbury's tourism operators will be out in force at TRENZ 2011, New Zealand's showcase tourism event, spreading the word that Christchurch and Canterbury are ready to welcome visitors.
In the two months since parts of Christchurch's central city were badly damaged by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake, significant progress has been made in getting the city back on its feet.
While pockets of Christchurch's central business district remain off-limits because of the structural damage to buildings, in many parts of the city it is business as usual.
Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism Chief Executive Tim Hunter explains "it's been important to us that we get back up on our feet as quickly as possible and while there is still a significant amount of rebuilding work to be done, we certainly feel we're in a good position to welcome visitors back.
"We've got 26 of our visitor attractions and activities in Christchurch City operating and we currently have eight hotels, 10 lodges and apartments, 105 motels, 17 holiday parks, 15 backpacker lodges and 70 bed & breakfasts in full operation, providing a total of 7100 commercial beds so we're certainly well placed to accommodate visitors."
Outside of Christchurch City there are 11,700 commercial beds available in the Canterbury region that have not been impacted at all by earthquake activity.
Hunter adds "one of the messages we've been endeavouring to get through to the travelling public over the past couple of months is that the damage caused by the quake is localised and that most of our region is unaffected, so there is no reason for people to postpone or cancel their holidays.
"Canterbury still has the great landscapes and the abundance of activities that have long made it one of the most popular travel destinations in New Zealand and Christchurch is still the gateway to the South Island.
"The visitor experience in Christchurch has changed because of the damage wrought by the quake on our cultural and heritage buildings, which were such a memorable part of our city, but we're still a viable tourism destination for independent travellers and small groups wanting to experience the heart of the south and to use the city as a gateway to the rest of our exciting province."
During their stay in Canterbury, Hunter recommends visitors:
• Enjoy the French-inspired settlement of Akaroa, which is buzzing with seaside cafes, boutique shops and wildlife cruises
• Soak in the sights of New Zealand's highest peak, glacial lakes, stargazing tours and iceberg cruises in the Mackenzie Country
• Enjoy pampering and relaxation amongst the beautiful alpine vistas of Hanmer Springs
• Visit New Zealand's eco-tourism capital, Kaikoura, for a spot of whale watching and some wilderness walks.
Hunter adds "the great thing about all those destinations is they're all within an easy drive of Christchurch International Airport and very accessible and along the way there are some great places to stop for lunch or a glass of superb Canterbury wine."
Joining Hunter and the Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism team at TRENZ 2011 are a host of Canterbury tourism operators.
Hunter adds "we're all looking forward to waving the flag for Canterbury and to getting the message out that we're ready, willing and able to give visitors a great time.
"The new-format TRENZ will be a great platform for showcasing tourism services and products and we're certainly thrilled to have this opportunity to meet stakeholders face-to-face and to provide them with an update on our situation and the challenges that lie ahead as we move into re-build mode."
Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand (TIANZ) Chief Executive Tim Cossar says TRENZ organisers are doing as much as possible to assist Christchurch at the event, stating "we are keen to do all we can to support Christchurch as it moves forward following February's earthquake. We are grateful for assistance from Christchurch Interna ...

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Image shows Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve.


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