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Christchurch City Council Considers Merge to Increase Visitor Numbers

While there have been signs over the last year or two of a few more tourists visiting Christchurch, visitor statistics remain low.

A new Christchurch visitor strategy is promoting the merger of the Christchurch City Council's tourism, economic development and event organisations to increase visitor numbers to the city.

"Tourism, events, economic development and city promotion are inextricably linked and must be approached in a more joined up manner..." the strategy said.

A council report, which recommends the council endorse the strategy said one possible model for the merger was the Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Agency. The report said that feedback from the visitor industry indicated a similar model would find "significant favour" with recognition that one cohesive group has an opportunity to be more effective than the sum of its parts.

Christchurch City Council Considers Merge to Increase Visitor Numbers

Council chief executive Karleen Edwards said the Council would investigate the best structure for a model that would drive economic development in the city and wider region.

Travel patterns in New Zealand changed since the quakes and international airlines are increasingly using Auckland as their primary gateway. Christchurch is being 'cut out of the loop' and the visitor strategy said the city could not expect to automatically regain its pre-quake share of the tourism market.

The strategy identified the speed and quality of Christchurch's rebuild as the biggest issue affecting the recovery of tourism in Christchurch. It said that ensuring key anchor projects including the convention centre, stadium and metro sports facility were completed on time was imperative.

Work on the proposed new organisational structure was already underway with decisions expected in February.

At Westside Motor Lodge, we're excited about doing our bit to help bring visitors back to Christchurch. Come and see all the wonderful, innovative things that are happening in our city!

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