British and Irish Lions' visitors have highlighted a need for more accommodation in Christchurch, the latest tourism figures show.
The Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Nicky Wagner, says the city is back on the itinerary for visitors coming to our shores, which will increase pressure on accommodation.
"With British and Irish Lions fans roaring into Christchurch this weekend, it's a good time to take stock of the local tourism sector," she said.
Counts of visitors through Christchurch Airport show annual numbers are over 500,000 for the first time since 2011.
Total tourism expenditure in the city and region is estimated at $2.3 billion in the 12 months to April 2017.
Capacity at motels and holiday parks are back to pre-quake levels, Ms Wagner said, but hotel bed numbers are still at 56 per cent of 2010 numbers.
She said Christchurch is heading in the right direction and it's up to everyone, from people to government, to support the regeneration.
"It's heartening to see a number of hotels have reopened, two more are in the process of substantial refurbishment or repairs, and new hotels are in the pipeline, such as the Holiday Inn Express on Gloucester Street, scheduled to open next year."