You certainly have to admire the strength and ingenuity coming from Christchurch. Tourism operators there have been dealt a rough blow with the earthquakes but there are certainly still many that are fully operational and they are therefore keen to let everyone know…so a group made up from those in the Christchurch tourism industry including SpecialEyes Group, Haka Tours and Kiwi Basecamp have developed the “Christchurch is Open” event.

Described as an event to “celebrate the resilience of the local tourism industry” and the fact the aspects of the Christchurch tourism industry for both accommodation and activities are still open.

Being held at the Riccarton Racecourse on the 30th of April, backpacking tourists staying at seven local accommodation providers will be collected and transported to the event, where they will be welcomed by a multitude of entertainment and tourism operators offering great deals on their activities and attractions. Tourism operators have been invited to attend the event, set up displays and offer great specials to actual tourists in Christchurch in an attempt to generate business and revenue. Furthermore, it is hoped that the accommodation providers attending will receive additional bed nights as a result of the event and the enticing offers presented by the tourism operators.

A website has been created to highlight the event and to create some positive media attention for Christchurch ( Tourism and hospitality businesses will be able to list their business and any specials or last minute deals they are offering at no cost, with links to their websites or contact details. It is hoped that the site will become a portal after the event for directing tourists who are visiting or planning on visiting the area to use the tourism and hospitality businesses still operating in the Christchurch and Canterbury region, being enticed by the great specials on offer.

The Christchurch is Open event will also be live streamed on social media platforms so everyone who wants to, no matter where in the world they are, can join in on the party. There is no stronger marketing message than showing those contemplating visiting Christchurch actual footage of people having a great time. Furthermore, to assist those businesses attending the event with marketing and promotional material, they will be provided with any imagery, video and other content that they will be able to use in the marketing functions of their own operations.

There is no doubt that Christchurch has suffered much damage and there is a long road ahead. Some businesses will never recover and tourism demand will continue to be affected. However, this event is intended to create some much needed positive attention, implementing a platform to disseminate the message that Christchurch is Open and there are tourism and hospitality businesses ready and willing to welcome the tourist back; even if it is only for a day or two on their journeys throughout the South Island.

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