Incentives 'needed' to boost accommodation investment

7:57 pm on 24 February 2013

A tourism body is calling on the Government to give financial incentives to investors considering building new accommodation in Christchurch.

The organisation says the tourism industry, which is slowly picking up after the devastating February 2011 earthquake, needs a push in the right direction.

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter says new accommodation projects are not getting off the ground fast enough and the Government needs to step in to encourage investment.

"Two years is too long to be in a situation where we've only got one or two projects off the ground. We do need some financial incentives of some sort for early adopters - people who get their accommodation projects to consenting stage - that's the sort of progress we need to drive our tourism economy back to where it was."

Mr Hunter says the Government does not seem keen on the idea, but it could hugely boost the South Island city's economy.

There would be a significant flow-on effect - construction would boom and more tourists could be back in the city sooner, he says.