Canterbury tourism wins

Last updated 12:52 21/01/2013
Pegasus Bay Winery

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Canterbury is celebrating a year of tourism wins in 2012, with attractions such as the Hanmer Springs’ thermal resort helping to drive an increase in visitor numbers in the region.

In recent months, influential travel book publisher Lonely Planet has named this part of the world as a top destination, while a visit to Hanmer ranked number one in AA Travel’s 101 Must-Do list.

‘‘It’s been another challenging year for our tourism industry, but despite that, we’ve had some big successes,’’ Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter said.

‘‘The proof of recovery is that all the major Asian markets, plus the United States, are back in growth, compared to 2011, and the Australian holiday market looks like it has turned the corner too.’’

Industry accolades awarded to North Canterbury businesses have also helped to raise the region’s profile.

These include Pegasus Bay receiving the Cuisine Award for Best Winery Restaurant for the fifth year in a row; and Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa winning Best Natural Bathing Spa in the Australasian Spa Association’s annual awards held in Sydney, and the Hospitality and Retail section of the Champion Canterbury Business Awards.

‘‘Such awards are testimony to the talent of the people who work in our tourism industry and to the quality of the products we offer,’’ Mr Hunter said.

‘‘The visitor decline that was triggered by the earthquakes of 2011 has now been arrested, with stronger arrivals from most of our key markets already evident this summer. It is now vital that we get the hotel and airline capacity increases we need to support this ongoing recovery.’’

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