Pow-wow on tourism aftershocks


The country’s tourism organisations are moving fast to ensure the lucrative industry doesn’t take a major hit following the Christchurch earthquake. 

Destination Queenstown is among several South Island tourism bodies attending a meeting next Monday at Christchurch Airport to discuss the way forward with their quake-affected promotions counterpart Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism. 

And on March 21, DQ boss Tony Everitt (right)and chairman Mark Quickfall meet Tourism New Zealand and other regional tourism agencies in Wellington to devise a plan to encourage overseas visitors not to be put off by the disaster. 

Bookings – particularly from the Asia and Japan markets – have already taken a “modest” dive for Queenstown and NZ, Everitt says. “They tend to be more risk-sensitive … and because they’ve lost some of their own, it’s only natural how they’ve reacted. 

“But the rest of Canterbury is still working and that’s important to get that message out.” 

Tourism NZ is also helping convey this message and revised marketing strategies will be discussed at the Wellington meeting. 

“TNZ is furiously gathering information from all the international markets to build up a picture of what it all means. 

They’ve identified Australia – perhaps there should be more marketing work going on to give things an extra push, to make up for what’s gone on.” 

Everitt says it’s too soon to say whether the industry will be badly affected by the quake but he’s not worried yet – big Queenstown events like the TRENZ conference, Winter Festival, Winter Games and Rugby World Cup could be the saving grace.