| Latest Christchurch News | Friday September 27 2013 5:39
UPDATED 8:39am: The Christchurch economy is about to get a major boost with the opening of the Antarctic Season this weekend.
The season brings thousands of scientists and researchers to the city, from the New Zealand Antarctic Programme as well as the United States, Italy and South Korea.
The US Antarctic Programme will see more than 2500 people coming through Christchurch to the ice, and South Korea will bring over 200.
Antarctica New Zealand chair Rob Fenwick says the season is always brings a huge injection of support and cash into the Christchurch economy.
"It's been estimated that the United States programme Operation Deepfreeze, which of course has been based in Christchurch for years, is worth about $80 million or $90 million a year to the Christchurch economy."
The opening of the season will be marked in the city by a church service on Sunday morning at the Cardboard Cathedral and a wreath laying ceremony at the Canterbury Museum.
"It's a really important event for Christchurch and for Antarctica when we kick the season off in a traditional way.
"The American Airforce arrive in strength and we will get geared up for a busy season ahead of us."
Photo: Getty Images