Travel guide lauds Christchurch recovery

4:00 pm on 22 October 2012

Christchurch is number six on Lonely Planet's list of top 10 cities to visit in 2013, with its ability to bounce back from tragedy cited as a wow factor.

Christchurch's determination to rise from the rubble of the earthquakes has been rewarded with a spot in Lonely Planet's top 10 cities worldwide to visit in 2013.

In a boost for the city's tourism industry which was brought to its knees after the February 2011 earthquake, the travel guide places Christchurch sixth.

San Francisco tops the list, followed by Amsterdam and Hyderabad. Hobart is seventh, AAP reports.

Much of Christchurch's infrastructure was ruined in the quake on 22 February last year and 185 people were killed.

Christchurch was singled out by Lonely Planet for the way it was "bouncing back with a new energy and inventiveness".

"New Zealand's second largest city is rising from the rubble ... with a breathtaking mix of spirit, determination and flair."

AAP reports it is the only New Zealand city to make the 2013 list.

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter told AAP the accolade was a tribute to the city's "let's get going" attitude and creative approach.

He said some visitors to the region came because they were interested in the impact of the earthquake, but most visited because it remains the main gateway to the South Island and is still a "beautiful garden city".

"This will certainly help the tourism industry ... it's a priceless recognition of all the hard work that has gone on.

''We've been very wounded, international visitor nights in accommodation are down 50% from before the earthquake.

"It's Christchurch's 'let's get going' energy that visitors like. It's not the old Christchurch that they're coming to see - like the historical buildings - it's a city with a bit of energy," he said.

Mayor Bob Parker said it was a real coup to get Christchurch included in the list of top 10 cities for 2013.

IBIS Hotel general manager Tim Dearsley said the listing would bring the city's recovery forward by a year.