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Friday, April 29, 2011

Event tells tourists the 'open' sign is up

Event tells tourists the 'open' sign is up

Last updated 05:00 30/04/2011
Christchurch businesses are eager to entice tourists back to the city through a special event at Riccarton Racecourse today.

About 20 companies, including the International Antarctic Centre, are taking part in the "Christchurch is Open" event, which will feature displays about the activities being offered. People attending will get discounts on the activities.

The band Ctrl-Alt-Rock and musician Stephen Aroha will play.

"We want to send out positive messages about tourism in Christchurch," said Steve Wilson, of Special Eyes.

"Businesses are really ready to welcome back tourists to Christchurch," he said.

International Antarctic Centre marketing manager Wendy Cowan said visitor numbers had dropped 30 to 35 per cent.

"We haven't suffered as much as some of the other businesses," she said.

Overseas tourists made up about 70 per cent of the centre's visitors.

Businesses taking part include Black Cat Cruises and Willowbank Wildlife Reserve.

The event will be streamed live, allowing people from around the world to watch.

It is free for tourists staying at the seven backpackers that are open in Christchurch after the earthquake.

There are 250 tickets available and only ticket-holders will be able to attend. Buses will pick up tourists at the backpackers. Wilson said they were considering holding something for Christchurch residents.

"Christchurch is Open" starts at 7pm and ends at 12.30am tomorrow. More information can be found at

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