Christchurch still in top five destination list

By Paul Harper

Christchurch remains one of New Zealanders' favourite places to visit. Photo / Dean Purcell
Christchurch remains one of New Zealanders' favourite places to visit. Photo / Dean Purcell

Christchurch remains one of New Zealanders' favourite places to visit in the country despite the devastating February 22 earthquake, according to a survey released today.

The latest Fly Buys/Colmar Brunton Mood of the New Zealand Traveller Survey released by the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand has Wellington on top, followed by Auckland, Queenstown, Christchurch, then Nelson.

Even though the Garden City has dropped in the ratings from third, TIA chief executive Tim Cossar said the results are pleasing for Christchurch's tourism industry.

"While it's understandable tourism numbers will suffer due to the earthquake, it's great to see the majority of Kiwis haven't been deterred. Christchurch still has so much to offer, and the ski season is also approaching, which means a likely increase in tourist numbers.
Christchurch remains an important gateway to some of the South Island's top ski-fields," he said.

The survey found of those New Zealanders living outside Christchurch, 28 per cent plan to visit the city in the next year. Sixty per cent said the earthquake has not affected their desire to visit Christchurch and 8 per cent are now more inclined to take a trip there. However 29 per cent say they are less inclined to visit.

Of those who said they were more inclined to visit the city following the quake, 47 per cent say it's to support the local economy, 50 per cent to visit/support family and friends, 38 per cent to see the changes to the city, and 34 per cent to help the community.

Those less inclined to visit were scared of another earthquake (65 per cent), concerned about the lack of infrastructure (60 per cent), and put off by the loss of the city's heritage buildings (15 per cent).

The poll also shows while we have a strong desire to travel within New Zealand, time and money are the main barriers. Finances was the biggest barrier for 77 per cent of Kiwis, followed by being too busy at work at 51 per cent and having family commitments 26 per cent.

The survey was conducted by interviewing 996 New Zealanders 18 years old and over online from the March 23 to 30 2011. Survey participants were sourced from Colmar Brunton's Fly Buys panel.

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