South Island tourism driven by partnership

Christchurch, Canterbury, and South Island tourism has a positive future following the devastation of February's earthquake, with the announcement of a tourism partnership between Christchurch International Airport Ltd , Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism and the Ministry of Economic Development set to drive the industry forward and out of its current crisis.

"We are currently in the midst of the biggest crisis that South Island tourism has ever faced, and it is imperative that we have a strong and functional tourism body in the months and years to come, to work with the industry and to ensure Christchurch doesn't disappear off the tourist map", says CIAL Chief Executive Jim Boult. 

"Undeniably, Christchurch has faced significant destruction from the recent earthquake, but throughout the city, the region and the greater South Island, there is a desire for tourism to rebound quickly, and we need to ensure we have a strong voice to communicate this internationally", says Mr Boult.

To drive the revitalisation of the South Island's tourism industry, CIAL has offered support and funding to CCT through the provision of office space, IT, human resource and administration support for the organisation's staff.  CIAL will also continue to provide support for regional marketing campaigns designed to promote South Island tourism to international markets, which are at risk of suffering significantly from a decrease in inbound tourism numbers.

"March inbound passenger numbers to the South Island, for example, were down in excess of 20% on March last year.  With figures such as these, it is hugely important that we work together to retain our international air services", says Mr Boult. 

"Each of our international airlines is committed to Christchurch while there is demand for their services, but any international concern about the state of South Island tourism must be immediately addressed to ensure the ongoing retention of these crucial services.  With over 90% of tourism arrivals into the South Island coming through Christchurch Airport, it is clear that our tourism industry and the wider South Island economy depends on CIAL maintaining these services."

 "Through this partnership, we will ensure that our regional tourism organisation is in the best possible shape to clearly communicate to our international markets that Christchurch and the South Island is open for business, now and in the coming months and years as we rebuild our city and our tourism industry", says Mr Boult.

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