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Campaigns To Encourage Local Business & Domestic Visitation In & Around Ōtautahi Christchurch

ChristchurchNZ are doubling down on efforts to encourage residents to support local businesses, and Kiwis to explore Canterbury and the surrounding area as an attractive tourism destination.

Explore Your Place

An Explore Your Place campaign ran throughout Alert Level 4 and 3, and is now asking residents of Ōtautahi Christchurch a simple question – am I keeping it local?

The campaign encourages residents to think and spend locally, which has the potential to support our economy and ultimately save jobs.

The campaign will also showcase Christchurch, Canterbury and the West Coast as an attractive local holiday destination.

Tim Loftus, ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Marketing, Brand and Communications, said spending habits of Christchurch residents over the next six months were vital to economic recovery and the future of local businesses and Christchurch jobs.

“Our confident and unified community will help Ōtautahi Christchurch lead the way in economic recovery. As we always have, we will respond accordingly and, within our means, support our local businesses,” Loftus said.

Retail spending volumes in Greater Christchurch for the week ending 10 May 2020 showed a decline of 36 per cent compared to the same week last year.

“This illustrates the pressure businesses are under,” Loftus said.

“Even a 15 per cent increase in discretionary spending, particularly in our hardest hit industries, will not only keep businesses open, it will save jobs.”

The campaign includes assets for businesses to use free of charge, available here. It will be updated as the campaign progresses.


The visitor economy remains an important focus area for ChristchurchNZ, particularly as the country progresses through alert levels.

Recent analysis from Deloitte showed Canterbury has the potential to retain $1 billion in tourism spend that typically goes overseas.

From this week, ChristchurchNZ will be promoting Christchurch, Canterbury and the West Coast to a wider domestic market. The activity is the first phase of a campaign titled ExploreCHC.

“This is an innovative and bold new central South Island destination brand unifying Christchurch, Canterbury and the West Coast,” Loftus said.

“Christchurch is very much a basecamp for exploration, a gateway to the surrounding regions and all they have to offer.”

The ExploreCHC tagline: “Christchurch, It’s Just the Beginning” reinforces the point that our exciting new city is just the tip of the iceberg when experiencing this incredibly diverse region of the South Island.

The campaign will run in Level 2 and in Level 1, targeting primarily Wellington and Auckland. It will also be used to target the Australian market.

This long-term strategic campaign to attract visitors to the central South Island was due for launch this year but was brought forward to help the region post-COVID-19.

“Tourism supports close to 70,000 jobs in our city and region, so these operators and the businesses that support the visitor experience are really struggling,” Loftus said.

“Our home is an incredibly popular international tourist destination, currently off limits for overseas visitation. We hope Kiwis see this as an amazing opportunity to experience for themselves the beauty of Ōtautahi Christchurch and Waitaha Canterbury.”


Canterbury tourism sector:

69,600 employees

$4.9 billion GDP

16.4% direct impact on the Canterbury economy

8,800 businesses

Spend – for year ending Jan 2020

International visitors and inter-regional visitors (i.e. New Zealanders who travel outside of their home region) together spent $26.6 billion in New Zealand.

Intra-regional visitors (i.e. New Zealanders who travel within their home region) spent $3.8 billion in the year to January 2020.

New Zealanders spent $8b overseas.

This ‘retained spending’ opportunity could be worth up to $2.7 billion to Auckland, $1 billion to Canterbury, $0.9 billion to Wellington, and $0.8 billion to Waikato.

In Canterbury, previous domestic spend was $2.4.b, potential retained overseas spend is $1b. Total spend pre-Covid was $4b.

Pre-Covid v Post-Covid spend -$661m.

In the West Coast, previous domestic spend was $220m, potential retained overseas spend is $53m. Total spend pre-Covid was $501m.

Pre-Covid v Post-Covid spend -$209m.

Will they come?

Christchurch is on par with Wellington, Rotorua and Fiordland as a place Kiwis would most like to visit – 34 per cent say they’d like to visit the city.

For more see: https://www2.deloitte.com/nz/en/pages/economics/articles/covid-19-restarting-our-tourism-sector.html

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