Upwards for Christchurch

Upwards for Christchurch

Hotel occupancy in Christchurch is up almost five percent on the same time last year, according to the latest Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) statistics. Other industry reporting also highlights this trend with stronger year-on-year demand for CBD hotels in the 4.5 to five-star market.

ChristchurchNZ Convention Bureau and industry partnership manager Caroline Blanchfield says visitor spending was increasing year on year, injecting millions of dollars into the local economy.

‘The amount of money being spent by visitors in the last 12 months has exceeded pre-earthquake levels, with visitors spending $2224 million in Christchurch and $3472 million in Canterbury in the year up until August 2017, based on Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment figures,’ she says.

Blanchfield adds it is good to see hotels such as Crowne Plaza opening in the city and doing so well.

In the three months since opening, Crowne Plaza Christchurch has exceeded opening budgets for rooms, food and beverage and conferencing as the ‘new kid on the block’, says general manager Reinier Eulink.

The hotel opened to great fanfare as the city records record growth from its visitor economy, the CBD has come alive with the opening of retail centres such as The Crossing and in all more than $1 billion-worth of new buildings are touted for the retail precinct.

‘Increasing numbers of visitors are coming to Christchurch as the city continues to emerge, with new bars, restaurants and retail shops opening weekly. It is fantastic to have a range of accommodation providers on board to meet different visitor needs, says Blanchfield.

While many new buildings have opened or are about to open in the CBD, construction work continues at pace. Yet to come are developments on Colombo Street, smaller rebuilds on Cashel Street, The Terrace, EntX Entertainment Centre and the Victoria Square renovation – all within walking distance of Crowne Plaza Christchurch.

‘We’re looking forward to some of these additional commercial projects being completed in the next six to 12 months and the flow-on effect of increasing numbers of visitors and office workers to the city,’ says Eulink.

Forward demand is strong especially in the leisure market with guests booking well into 2018.

The hotel is also booked well in advance for special events coming to the city.

Within the first few weeks of opening, Crowne Plaza Christchurch hosted Emirates Team New Zealand, Highlanders and Chiefs rugby teams and corporate groups from Tourism Industry Aotearoa.

It is hosting teams visiting the city for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup starting on January 19 and being played at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval. Both semi-finals will be played in Christchurch on January 29 and 30.

Crowne Plaza Christchurch is also experiencing strong bookings for the month-long Golden Oldies Sports Celebration starting on April 1 2018.