A large number of Christchurch hotels remain closed, with just nine of 35 currently operating, putting the brakes firmly on the city’s leisure, business and MICE markets for the foreseeable future.

Speaking exclusively to HM on camera at the New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference (NZHIC) in Auckland, Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism CEO Tim Hunter said the lack of hotel rooms made it challenging for the city, but that could all change soon when access is granted to a cordoned off area of the CBD.

He said the city was still able to hold conferences of up to 500 people, but anything larger was not possible due to damaged sustained at the city’s convention centre.

However, when the convention centre is re-built, Hunter said there was an opportunity to increase the building’s size and that would mean Christchurch – a city that had the country’s largest convention facility prior to the February 22 earthquake – could boast one of the biggest centres when re-built.

To view the exclusive interview, click on the image below.

An Emirates Boeing 777

Emirates flies daily from Sydney to Christchurch. The author recommends flying in Business Class, which features world-class service, food, wine and hundreds of hours’ entertainment on demand across all cabins. For bookings, visit