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Christchurch will encourage residents to open up their homes to tourists next summer in a bid to avoid another “accommodation crisis” in the city.

Tourism bosses want to establish a billeting system with residents providing accommodation for people unable to find a room.

The plan is being explored after an acute bed shortage this summer saw visitor centre staff put up stranded tourists while other visitors were forced to drive for up to two hours to find a room.

Photo Credit: The heart of Christchurch is Cathedral Square. This photo was taken before the 2011 earthquake, which caused some damage to the church. Geof Wilson / Flickr