#ExploreChristchurch is a campaign to get Cantabrians to visit their own central city. Julia Evans reports
Getting Christchurch people to tour their own central city is the latest key campaign in a bid to see the CBD come back to life.
People sitting in the winter sun, eating lunch and talking with friends on The Terrace.
A group out browsing through shops in winding lanes of The Crossing for a new pair of boots or coat, missing from their wardrobes.
Couples stopping off for a mulled wine at Smash Palace before heading to Alice Cinemas to watch Whitney.
That’s the vision for the central city in depths of winter. However, this year’s cold, wet season has often left the CBD without people and businesses struggling.
But the recently launched #ExploreChristchurch campaign aims to change that and get people, buzz and activity back into the heart of the city.
Bright red flags with “Explore” on them line the streets to promote the initiative.
ChristchurchNZ general manager marketing, brand and communications Tim Loftus said the campaign was launched in response to requests from local businesses to help stimulate economic activity within the CBD.
“The #ExploreChristchurch campaign is part of our strategy to profile Christchurch globally, by starting at home,” Mr Loftus said.
“Winter can be a challenging time for our newest retail and hospitality operators in the central city. We’re hoping to help change that by inspiring our residents to get out and explore our vibrant and evolving city centre.”
The General Store gift shop manager Sonya Henry said it had been quiet, but she was hoping Plymouth Lane would fill with people through #ExploreChristchurch.
“Sometimes you just need to give the suggestion and make it into a fun game to encourage people back into town,” she said.
Ms Henry said it would be “really nice” to see more people checking out the central city through winter.
“Places like New Regent St, The Crossing and down here are really cool.”
Pepa Stationery owner Ami Muir said things had slowed down over winter.
“But that’s always the case, no matter where you go.”
She said the campaign would encourage the “whole lot” of people who still haven’t been into the CBD seven years after the earthquake.
“You need to come in and then you can see what’s to come. It gets you a bit excited. Otherwise if you stay at home, you can get quite depressed about the central city,” Ms Muir said.
It comes as the city council revealed the findings of its Life in Christchurch 2018 survey – which said that 77 per cent of people say they visit the central city once a month.
Fifty per cent said they went to the central city to eat and go to bars, 43 per cent went shopping and 34 per cent said they visited attractions.
ChristchurchNZ launched the as a collaborative initiative to engage and inspire residents by using the Pockets of Awesome Facebook page to highlight events, offers and activities in the city.
It wants people to include the hashtag #ExploreChristchurch when sharing what they love best about the CBD with friends and across social media.
Every Thursday in August, Otakaro is running lunchtime walking tours of the city at 12.30pm.
•The North Walk – through The Promenade, Te Pae (Convention Centre), Victoria Square, Rauora Park and the East Frame then the retail precinct.
•The South Walk – The Promenade, The Justice and Emergency Services building, The South Frame, Rauora Park and the East Frame to the retail precinct.
•To book a spot, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 357 6300