This year’ s international sports events including the ICC Cricket World Cup and FIFA U-20 World Cup have put Christchurch back on the world stage and encouraged local and international tourism to the region.
More than one billion people around the world watched the ICC Cricket World Cup Opening Ceremony held in North Hagley Park and 6,500 people attended each of the three matches at the redeveloped Hagley Oval.
It was hard to avoid cricket fever in the city and Canterbury Development Corporation Chief Executive Tom Hooper said this was clear in economic indicators for February 2015 with notable highs in tourism, accommodation and retail trade sectors.
“Our analysis showed that the number of international visitor arrivals at Christchurch International Airport was 35,488, the highest recorded figure for that month since 2010. It seems many of these visitors stayed in Canterbury as the number of international guest nights was up by 16 percent on the previous year, again the highest figure for that month since 2010,” said Tom.
“Many other sectors also saw the benefits of this increased activity, retailers processed $9.92 million worth of transactions in February, which was just over 8 percent higher than the same time last year and the highest figure for February in the last six years,” he said.
Christchurch expects to see a further boost in the coming weeks when the FIFA U-20 World Cup kicks off on Saturday. Twenty four nations are competing in the tournament which will be played in seven New Zealand cities and runs from May 30th to June 20th 2015.
In the coming days each team will be welcomed to their host city. Christchurch
International Airport will welcome Germany, Fiji, Honduras and Uzbekistan with local kapa haka group performances.
The city will host nine matches in total with Germany, Brazil, Honduras, Fiji, Korea DPR and Uzebekistan all playing group stages matches at Christchurch Stadium, Addington.
Sources: Canterbury Development Corporation, FIFA