Tue, March 08, 2011
World > Asia-Pacific > Earthquake rocks New Zealand

Most of New Zealand still open for tourists: TNZ

2011-03-08 08:14:15 GMT2011-03-08 16:14:15(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

WELLINGTON, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Christchurch might be recovering from a devastating earthquake, but the rest of New Zealand is open for visitors, a tourism industry official of New Zealand said Tuesday.

It has been two weeks since the 6.3 magnitude tremor which destroyed large parts of the city, and coverage of the devastation is still making headlines throughout Australia and Asia, said Tourism New Zealand(TNZ) chief executive Kevin Bowler.

"Yesterday, we were informed the National Crisis Management Centre is no longer advising against non-essential travel to Christchurch city.This means while Christchurch city needs time to recover, New Zealand tourism is absolutely open and operating," Bowler said.

TNZ had been working with Australia-based tour operators to help change itineraries for tours that were in the South Island when the earthquake struck or soon after.

Meanwhile, some of Christchurch's main tourist attractions have reopened.

However, there would be no quick fixes to the effect the quake would have on Christchurch's tourism industry, Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter said.

"It's going to take time and money to re-establish Christchurch as a top tourism destination," he added.

The Christchurch International Airport has been fully operational.

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