Despite earthquake effects, most tourists find it a worthwhile stop in their tours of the country
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/02/2012 -- While some international tourists may look past the Christchurch area those who do make it to the city says it has more than enough to offer. The central-city red zone, Hagley Park, the Start container mall, and the International Antarctic Center rank highest among visitors.
Tourism New Zealand survey exposed the fact that only 37% of international tourists visited Canterbury in 2011-12, which is down from 51% the previous year.
The Visitor Experience Monitor (VEM) surveyed 4,500 who were departing travelers, and asked them where they would be visiting, as well as rating their expected areas of interest.
The results were not specifically broken down by region, however, through the numbers it was clear that the earthquake that struck the Christchurch area did weigh on peoples’ decisions when visiting New Zealand.
Those who were surveyed scored the country 8.9 of 10 regarding the area’s likeability. Tourists stated that they were pleasantly surprised by the Christchurch area and their overall experience there.
Geoff and Wagner Adelaide spent three days of their three-week trip in Christchurch and rated it “an easy 9” out of 10. The noted the red-zone bus tour, Botanic Gardens caterpillar tour, punting on the Avon River, and “first-class” Antarctic Center were the highlights.
Geoff stated that the quake simply “changed what we were able to see”.
Its a lovely city. The suburbs are quite impressive,” he said.
"I'm disappointed I could not see Christchurch as it was, and particularly some of the significant buildings that have been demolished. I'm really keen to come back in 10 years and have a look at the finished Christchurch."
Silke Winterfeld of Germany wanted to see the effect of the quakes, but found that navigation around the inner-city was difficult.
"It was a surprise to see it was only fences. I had to walk the long way around," she said. Christchurch was her last stop before flying to Sydney and she had four days planned.
Fellow German Mathias Rauh, had hoped to avoid Christchurch but was forced to stay a night due to a flight change. He stated it appeared to be “a ghost town”, and noted “Maybe I will come back again when everything is set up again.
The VEM was able to find visitors from the United States, Germany, Britain, New Zealand, and South Korea.
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