Sunday, 1 April 2012

Free Red Zone Bus Tours* for our weekend guests!

CERA has announced a new round of Red Zone bus tours.  Bus companies have been asked to submit tenders and the tours may be operating as soon as May.  We will make them free for weekend guests!

We welcome this news and look forward to the start date being announced.  We hope it will be a boost to the local economy as the peak season tourist dollar dwindles and we enter the quieter months of the year.
An online poll in The Press overwhelmingly says locals don't want to pay to see their city centre but such negativity is probably more aimed at Cera’s control of the area people once freely walked.  This time, people will be able to access this cordoned area and paying for the costs involved is reasonable.  People will have a choice whether to take the tours or not after all. 

We believe the tour will appeal to visitors to Christchurch who want to find out about just what happened and why the barriers are still up so long after the main event.  One recent visitor to Christchurch commented on our Facebook page “As a tourist there this time last year, I would have happily paid to A) get a sense of what was going on and B) put some money in the coffers for the rebuild (which was part of our reason for not cancelling our trip in Apr/May 2011!) as we wanted to support the local economy in any way we could!”  and we are sure other visitors to Christchurch will feel the same.
At the estimated $10 per person this could be a great 1/2 day activity for visitors when combined with a visit to the museum to see the earthquake exhibit there.  We’re sure a creative operator could quickly put together an inventive tour including hand outs and possibly even video explanations.  We're obviously stuck with this Red Zone cordon for quite a few months to come so if this idea can entice people to Christchurch as we enter the quieter months of the tourist year it may well help some people pay some bills.  If that's the case it gets a "like" from us!

(Convention Centre, looking through from Peterborough Street to the Town Hall)
Bus tours, like last year will probably run on weekends, when deconstruction work is at a minimum and demand is there and this will tie in well with the weekend glut of accommodation which is already clearly visible.

At CentrePoint on Colombo Motel, we will pay up to $10 each for up to 2 persons per room for direct reservations guests who stay with us on Fri, Sat or Sun nights until the end of August and take the Red Zone Bus Tour – YES! it’s free when you stay with us and you get to stay just 1 block from the edge of the Red Zone northern boundary. *Subject to terms & conditions.

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