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Monday, March 7, 2011

Tourism 'shouldn't die with quake'

Tourism 'shouldn't die with quake'

Last updated 14:15 08/03/2011
A Canterbury tourism leader says travellers can still experience the best of the region's tourist spots, in spite of the Christchurch earthquake.

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter said many of the city's tourism operators are relying on Government grants as they assess damage to their operations and figure out how to reopen.

"What we're facing as an industry is unprecedented in New Zealand and unfortunately there will be no quick fixes.  It's going to take time and money to re-establish Christchurch as a top tourism destination and our industry is grateful for any assistance the government can give us, both in the short-term and in the long-term."

Although Christchurch is still under a state of emergency and many businesses remain shut, some tourism attractions are operating, including Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, Air Force Museum and the Tranz-Alpine train service.

Christchurch International Airport is open and all of Canterbury's regional tourism hubs - including Aoraki/Mt Cook, Kaikoura, Methven, and Akaroa are ready to cater for extra visitors.

Hunter said travellers are happy to change their plans to avoid Christchurch, but are still able to experience the best Canterbury has to offer.

"We're very pleased that a lot of travellers have chosen to push ahead with their plans to holiday in Canterbury because in doing so they're helping our economy and our industry at what is a very difficult and challenging time."

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