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Chch's Ellerslie Flower Show 'rebuilt'

Tuesday 5 Mar 2013 5:26 a.m.

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Organisers hope the Christchurch Ellerslie International Flower Show will go off with a bang – just like it used to.

Judging of the more than 80 displays at North Hagley Park continues today, after months of planning and work from local and international designers.

Doors open to the public on Wednesday and the show is expected to bring its annual boost to the local economy.

The Ellerslie Flower Show brought in a whopping $14.9 million in 2009, with at least 50 percent of visitors coming from outside of the city.

Whether those numbers stand up in post-earthquake times remains to be seen, with organisers lamenting the loss of visitors.

The show has been struggling to sell the same amount of tickets in recent years, with only 1 percent of visitors coming from the North Island last year, down from 10 percent in 2009.

The show's managing director Dave Mee says the event has been "rebuilt from the ground up".

"We're hoping that it starts building back to what it was, in terms of attracting visitors, but I think it's going to be a slow build to be honest," he says.

"I don't think it's going to happen overnight."

Mr Mee says he hopes to sell somewhere between 45,000 and 50,000 tickets.

"We're about halfway at the moment and that's sort of on par with last year [.] well, it's probably a shade up on last year."

But Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter says the event is still a strong international attraction, as it cements Christchurch reputation as the “Garden City”.

"It is often hard to quantify the value of events like Ellerslie but it's a great marketing tool for Christchurch and a fabulous event," he says.

Crowds can expect new attractions come Wednesday, organisers say, including an award-winning display put together by film production studio Weta Workshop.

Punters can expect great weather with sun forecast for all five days.

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