Tourists return but not yet at pre-quake numbers

12:00 pm on 27 December 2012

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism says the region still has a way to go to regain the same number of tourists as before the earthquakes.

Despite a surge of arrivals from Asia, the United States and Australia over the past six months, the organisation says international tourist arrivals are still down by nearly 15% from pre-quake levels.

Chief executive Tim Hunter told Radio New Zealand's Summer Report programme that tourism can recover if word continues to be spread that most of the region's tourism infrastructure is operating, and if hotels are built at a faster rate.

Mr Hunter said the Australian holiday market has turned the corner with guest nights in October up 12% compared with the same time last year.