Supporting business  |  18 May 2020

ChristchurchNZ  is running twin campaigns aimed at encouraging Christchurch residents to spend locally and to get out-of-town visitors to Canterbury and the West Coast.

Tim Loftus, ChristchurchNZ’s General Manager of Marketing, Brand and Communications, says the spending habits of Christchurch residents over the next six months will be vital to the city’s economic recovery and to the future of local businesses and jobs.

His comments come as figures show retail spending volumes in greater Christchurch for the week ending 10 May 2020 fell by 36 per cent compared to the same week last year.

“This illustrates the pressure businesses are under,” Mr Loftus says. “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.’’

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

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

“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 target 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,” Mr Loftus says.

“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.’’