The shock of the new: the rhetoric of new urban tourism in the rebuild of Christchurch, New Zealand

Alberto Amore, C. Michael Hall

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    The 2010-11 earthquakes severely damaged the city of Christchurch and most of its key attractions, with direct consequences for the visitor economy. The subsequent rebuild is highly contested, while many local stakeholders wanted inclusive, liveable and mixed redevelopment for the benefit of residents and city users in general, central government opted for an anchor project rooted redevelopment strategy to enhance international appeal and market-led recovery. As a result the rhetoric of tourism has been used to legitimize the redevelopment agenda and the design and delivery of key anchor projects, including a new international convention centre, and sports and event infrastructure. The aim of the chapter is therefore to examine stakeholders’ roles and policy discourses emerging from the city rebuild which embrace much of the discourse surrounding new urban tourism.

    Using documentary sources and interviews this study provides a longitudinal appraisal of key episodes of governance that have shaped the Christchurch rebuild, with accounts from residents, civic society and recovery authorities.

    The chapter finds that the rebuild has implications not only for Christchurch as a tourist city but, in a wider context, to the use of tourism in a post-disaster context and the reshaping of urban tourism practices to enhance real estate values. The research therefore problematizes the notion of new urban tourism and argues that recent changes in the trajectory of everyday social and economic practices of city users can be best understood as a further extension of the processes of contemporary neoliberal capitalism rather than a distinct new form.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Power of New Urban Tourism
    Subtitle of host publicationSpaces, Representations and Contestations
    EditorsClaudia Ba, Sybille Frank, Klaus Muller, Anna Laura Raschke, Kristin Wellner, Annika Zecher
    Place of PublicationLondon
    ISBN (Electronic)9781003093923
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2021


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