Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christchurch favourite South Island destination

Top 20 list shows Canterbury's pulling power

Christchurch has outperformed Queenstown to emerge as Kiwi holiday-makers' favourite South Island destination.

The Garden City has also catapulted ahead of the capital city, Wellington, to secure second spot in online accommodation provider's list of New Zealand's top 20 travel destinations.

And it appears that many travelers are discovering that Canterbury's delights extend beyond the borders of its main city, with two other Canterbury destinations - Aoraki Mt Cook and Hanmer Springs - also securing spaces in the Wotif's South Island top 10 list and the New Zealand top 20 list.

The list was compiled based on the number of hotel bookings made over the past 12 months. Auckland grabbed the top spot while Queenstown came in fourth.

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Christine Prince says she is delighted the Canterbury region features so prominently in the top 20 list.

"As an organization we have worked really hard to get the message out that Christchurch and Canterbury are fantastic places for Kiwis to holiday and it's great to see people are taking the time to explore the heart of the south and discover its delights for themselves,'' Ms Prince says.

"Despite the economic downturn last year, our visitor numbers have continued to grow. There's widespread awareness that the best South Island holiday experiences, from world-class vineyards to natural thermal pools and safe swimming beaches, start here in Christchurch. The i-SITE Visitor Centre in Cathedral Square has been exceptionally busy over the Christmas/New Year period with a wide range of visitors."

"With a full fun SummerTimes programme and the World Buskers Festival happening 21-31 January, the city is going to be the place to be".

"We encourage visitors to take the time to explore not just Christchurch but all the other extraordinary destinations and activities on our doorstep,'' Ms Prince says. general manager brand Megan Magill says the South Island continues to be a popular tourist destination thanks to its adventure sports, majestic landscapes and famous wine regions.

For more information about Christchurch and Canterbury go to

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