Christchurch residents opening hearts and homes for Ellerslie
Christchurch homeowners have adopted the spirit of embracing floral diversity to help bridge the shortfall in beds needed for Christchurch, the flower festival in the city this weekend.
There are still a few beds available in Christchurch through commercial accommodation providers but i-site Christchurch, says that festival goers tend to leave booking their accommodation to the last minute. “With commercial accommodation either full, or requiring two-three night minimums, we’re now looking to our lists of homeowners to help out with demand.” Typically Ellerslie International Flower Show festival goers are looking for somewhere clean, comfortable and affordable for the night.”
To help answer that demand, New Zealand’s Homestay Network, ‘Look After Me Ltd’ has helped Christchurch homeowners with guest rooms or sleep-outs billet paying guests for this weekend. Founder Dr Julia Charity says “we’ve got a track record now of being an accommodation life-saver for other big events around the country, like Raggamuffin, Art Deco and Womad. We’d hate for there to be people turned away from staying in Christchurch if they want to attend Ellerslie.”
Look After Me is an online homestay network, which matches accommodation hunters with like-minded people. Founded on the principle of manaakitanga (hospitality) rooms range from single, modest rooms through to guest wings in exclusive and luxurious properties.
As a special promotion to help Ellerslie Festival organisers, homeowners in Christchurch have been able to sign up for a reduced administrative fee.
Many ‘Look After Me’ share a love of gardening. For example hosts Bruce and Judy Mayhew, who signed up to Look After Me recently, offer accommodation in their stylish guest house ‘The Meadows Villa’. “We’d love to share our special part of Christchurch with someone.”