New Zealand’s tourism industry is celebrating the reopening of State Highway 1 north of Kaikōura as an important step in the region’s recovery.
“Tourism Industry Aotearoa and our members are hugely grateful for the enormous effort that has gone into rebuilding this important visitor route so quickly,” advocacy manager Steve Hanrahan said.
“This marks a milestone in the region’s recovery after the devastating November 2016 earthquake.”
Although motorists can still expect some delays and closures while work continues on the new road, it will reopen access to Kaikōura from the north and make it easier for New Zealanders and international visitors to visit the worldfamous destination.
“Tourism operators in the region are looking forward to improved business this summer, after a difficult year since the earthquake. Visitors can be assured of a warm welcome and great hospitality,” Mr Hanrahan said.
Visitors should plan ahead and check the New Zealand Transport Agency website www.nzta.govt.nz/p2c for the latest travel information. Since the earthquake, TIA has led KE-TAG (Kaikōura Earthquake – Tourism Action Group) to guide the coordination of the tourism industry and government response to the impacts on tourism.
Eight industry organisations are represented (TIA, Hospitality New Zealand, Local Government New Zealand, Regional Tourism New Zealand, the Rental Vehicle Association, Restaurant Association of New Zealand and the Tourism Export Council of New Zealand), alongside four central government agencies (the Department of Conservation, the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, New Zealand Transport Agency and Tourism New Zealand).
The group has met regularly this year to monitor the responses, identify any gaps in the response and take action as required.
“We will continue to meet next year until we are confident that Kaikōura is well on the way to recovery,” Mr Hanrahan said.