Christchurch rebuilds for 2012
One year on from the devastating earthquake and Christchurch, New Zealand, is perfectly poised to become one of the most exciting cities in the Southern Hemisphere due to a successful rebuild of the city. Christchurch is expected to be as popular as ever for those travelling on a gap year, rivalling other Southern Hemisphere cities such as Cape Town, Perth and Queenstown.
The city is also continuing to host prestigious world-wide events, such as the 2012 ISPS Handa New Zealand Women's Golf Open in February and the All Blacks will host Ireland in June in a newly revamped stadium that is sure to get locals and tourists buzzing.
Tim Hunter, Christchurch and Canterbury tourism chief executive, said: "Christchurch and the Canterbury region have continued to welcome visitors to the area over the past year. There is a vibrant range of tourism activities and experiences for visitors to enjoy during their stay both in Christchurch and the surrounding regions.
"As a result, for the year ending September 2011, 47% of all visitors have continued to spend a night in Canterbury as part of their New Zealand stay, against 56% a year before."
Due to the rebuild, there has been an influx of jobs in Christchurch, with the property and engineering sector hitting a record high.
South Island employers planning to hire more permanent staff in the first quarter of 2012 had also hit an eight-year high, with 40% saying that they planned to increase their permanent headcount this quarter.
So whether you're going to Christchurch on a gap year or working abroad, it is set to be one of the places to be for 2012.
Photo of Christchurch by eTravelGuide (via Creative Commons).