Christchurch on the mend

Accor, New Zealand’s largest hotel group has announced plans to re-open two hotels following last year’s earthquake disaster.

Of the four hotels operated by Accor in Christchurch, the Hotel Ibis and Novotel aim to open their doors and welcome visitors from September 2012 and April 2013 respectively.

Continued demolition work has restricted the access and reconstruction of the remaining two All Seasons properties.

Accor regional manager Zayne Boon said the refurbished hotels will have a fresh new feel.

“When we re-open the Ibis and Novotel hotels they will be effectively new hotels,” Mr Boon said.

“Both of the hotels were relatively new – the Ibis was built in 2007 and the Novotel 2010 – so they were built to very exacting standards and their structures received only minor damage during the earthquakes.”

New employment opportunities and community revitalisation will be key to the re-development of the tourism industry in Christchurch.

“There is a critical shortage of accommodation in Christchurch and the re-opening of these hotels will allow significant progress to be made in reviving Christchurch’s commercial and tourist fortunes,” he added.

“It will also provide employment and will help support the wider revival of Christchurch’s central business district.”

Prior to the quake catastrophe, Christchurch possessed 35 percent of the MICE market of New Zealand, which contributed heavily to the local economy.

The demand for a new convention centre in Christchurch is high on the priority list as Accor works alongside Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) to develop plans.

“We have worked very closely with the CERA, seconding one of our senior managers (Tim Dearsley) to CERA to liaise with the broader hospitality industry in Christchurch, and we are very pleased that one of the main priorities identified by CERA is the building of a new convention centre,” he said.

“We believe that the city can re-establish its position and once again be a major driver for the South Island’s tourism sector and wider economy.”
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T
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