$500,000 boost for ChCh tourism

MARC GREENHILL
Last updated 13:01 27/09/2012
John Key at Ibis Hotel
Iain McGregor

VIEW OF THE CITY: John Key takes in the view of the Re:Start container mall from a room at the newly-opened Ibis Hotel.

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A further $500,000 will be spent promoting Canterbury tourism.

Prime Minister John Key today announced the Government's commitment to the second year of a $3 million tourism partnership with Christchurch City Council and Christchurch Airport.

Key, who is also Tourism Minister, officially opened the 155-room Ibis hotel in Hereford St, which this month became one of the first central-city hotels to reopen since the February 2011 earthquake.

Key is also officially opening the seven-storey Press House in Gloucester St, which has been home to The Press since May.

Key said a city of Christchurch's size needed hotels to function and the Ibis opening sent a message to tourists the city was ''open for business''.

''We need to get those tourists coming back, we need to make sure they have reasons to stay overnight and for periods of time here in Christchurch, so that those businesses that were really badly affected in the tourism space can regroup and start up again.''

There was ''optimism in the air'' in Christchurch, sparked by the release of the central-city blueprint, he said.

''Once people can see, 'here are these precincts, here's the future, here's what it's going to look like', it's natural for anyone to want hope when you've gone through a lot of the challenges we've seen in Christchurch over the last two years,'' Key said.

''I think that plan very clearly gives people hope and a sense of direction."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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