It was 12.51 pm on Tuesday the 22nd of February 2011 when it hit. The 6.3 magnitude earthquake changed Christchurch forever. The first priority, to rebuild people’s homes and mourn the 185 people killed in the quakes array of destruction.
Christchurch, known all over the world as the garden city and gateway to New Zealand’s beautiful South Island, had been for the most part, destroyed. The weeks and months after the quakes were focused on repairing local’s lives and rebuilding or replacing the nearly 8000 homes that were red zoned.
The quakes not only destroyed people’s lives but business, of all kinds in Christchurch took a massive hit. Six years on and the rebuild is now focusing on the repair of Christchurch’s main industries, tourism being one of them.
In October 2016 tourism overtook dairy as New Zealand’s top export earner. For the year ending March 2016 total tourism expenditure was $34.7 billion generating a direct contribution to the GDP of $12.9 billion.
Christchurch Airport is the country’s second biggest international airport behind Auckland.
On average from 2007-2010 Christchurch airport was getting around 1/3rd of the international visitors that Auckland was receiving. In the years following the quakes 2012-2015 that number dropped on average to around 1/5th.