Rebuild brings tourists to Christchurch
Tue, 02 Oct 2012 6:30p.m.
By Jessica Rowe
With another record-breaking cruise ship season about to get underway, tourism heavyweights are urging New Zealand operators to lift their game and think differently.
More than 200,000 passengers are expected to come ashore in New Zealand this year, 20 percent more than last year.
From punting in the Botanic Gardens to the red zone, punters are hoping cruise ship passengers will climb aboard.
“This is a very unique way of being able to view one of the largest construction sites in the Southern Hemisphere,” says punter Jamie Storie.
Major industry players gathered at the Tourism Summit in Wellington, urging operators to up their game or miss out on millions.
“Visitors that come off the ships are dealt with adequately,” says Tourism Industry Association chief executive Martin Snedden. “But there is an opportunity to deal with them brilliantly.”
Last season cruise passengers spent $132 million here – an average of $900 each. On top of that, cruise liners buy around $100 million of New Zealand products every year.
Major cruise ship companies say New Zealand needs to provide more for the large number of passengers coming into port.
Canterbury operators are turning to the rebuild for inspiration.
“It's about hearing the local story about how they are putting their lives back together after the quake,” says Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter. “There's a lot of visitor interest in that.”
Through the summer season, the punters will put on up to 40 rides through the inner city a day, to cater for the cruise ship passengers.
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