Despite some travellers having plans disrupted, most of the country is largely unaffected by the recent North Canterbury earthquakes and Tourism Industry and Hospitality NZ wanted to ensure that message gets out.

“After the Christchurch earthquakes, other regions that hadn’t been directly impacted saw a significant drop off in visitors,” said Chris Roberts, chief executive of Tourism Industry Aotearoa. “We don’t want a repeat of that. Travel to North Canterbury is not currently advisable, but for Christchurch and elsewhere we really hope people continue to travel for business and leisure.”

Although a number of visitors are currently stuck in Kaikoura and Hamner Springs, they are being assisted by the local tourism businesses. Tour operators are busy re-arranging itineraries for groups that were due in the area while also reassuring those yet to arrive.

Roberts reiterated that New Zealand remains a safe place to visit. “Like many countries, New Zealand gets earthquakes and this time it is North Canterbury’s turn to bear the brunt. It’s going to take a while to truly gauge the timeline to get State Highway 1 open again, so new travel routes will be needed. Fortunately, there are options for alternative routes. Beyond North Canterbury it’s very much business as usual.”