Plenty for tourists in Christchurch
Devastated: Christ Church Cathedral, Christchurch, after the 2011 earthquake. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian

The Hotel Ibis has reopened in Christchurch following the February 2011 earthquake.

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Located Hereford Street, just off Cathedral Square, the new hotel has 155 fully renovated rooms and all public areas have been rebuilt. The hotel was only four years old when the earthquake hit.

The reopening of the Hotel Ibis will signify the reconstruction of Christchurch's tourism industry and the location is a key element in the re-imagining of the city which will include a convention centre, tourism, shopping and entertainment facilities.

Hotel Ibis Christchurch general manager Tim Dearsley said the September 4 re-launch date was chosen to signify the second anniversary of the first earthquake. The subsequent quake struck the city in February 2011.

"Christchurch tourism has suffered enormously because of the perception that the city was closed following the quake. This was never true but the re-opening of the Ibis will highlight that the city centre is now accessible to travellers and there is plenty to do in the city, including many of the old activities, as well as new and innovative tourism experiences," he said.

Travellers planning to visit the city now can take advantage of the new Re:START Mall in Cashel street. The precinct is the new heart of the city featuring designer shops, cafes. Oopen Pasta and Grill is a highlight of the re-established area and forms a significant part of the city's focus on South Island food and wine experiences.

Mr Dearsley said the city was aiming to be back in full swing by 2012. "While some of the CBD is still cordoned off it is important to note that the 'red zone' has reduced from 387 hectares to 49 hectares today and authorities aim to have the city fully open by the middle of 2013," he said

More accommodation is set to become available in mid 2013 with the re-opening of Accor's Novotel Christchurch but the future of the two All Seasons Hotels remain uncertain because of restricted access to the hotels since the earthquake.

The West Australian

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