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Update and media release from Tourism NZ re earthquake

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Update and media release from Tourism NZ re earthquake

Copy of media release from Tourism NZ

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Statement from Kevin Bowler, CEO Tourism New Zealand

“Immediately following the Christchurch earthquake our focus across the tourism and

hospitality industry has been to support and care for the many people affected by the

earthquake, including international and local visitors and the Christchurch

community. Many have needed the assistance that the industry has been very

willing to provide. Numerous stories have been relayed about the generosity

extended to visitors and others in need over this difficult time.

While this continues, attention is now shifting to the economic impacts on tourism of

this terrible event.

In this regard, the Ministry of Economic Development's Tourism Strategy Group has

begun work to assess the economic impact of the earthquake on tourism, but it is

still far too early to quantify this. A range of factors need to be evaluated over the

coming weeks, and clearly a rescue effort is still underway. A clearer picture will

emerge once access restrictions are lifted and fuller assessments of impacts on the

ground are possible.

Other current priorities for tourism are to reassure overseas markets that the

earthquake was localised to Christchurch city and Lyttelton and that other parts of

New Zealand are open, welcoming and operating as normal. Christchurch Airport is

open and operating normally and remains an important gateway into the South

Island. This means that while people are advised against non-essential travel to

Christchurch city, we are encouraging visitors to continue with their plans to visit New

Zealand. Among other things, we are working to ensure travel advisories accurately

communicate the location of the earthquake damage and do not mistakenly advise

against travel to the rest of New Zealand.

Collectively, the tourism industry’s attention is now shifting to ensuring tourism

remains strong and maintains its contribution to New Zealand’s economy. A strong

economy will be vital to helping Christchurch get back on its feet.

We have been continually providing information to overseas travel trade and people

involved in the tourism industry to keep messages about Christchurch in context with

the rest of New Zealand. Tourism New Zealand has reviewed its current marketing

activity for Christchurch and has postponed joint advertising with Christchurch and

Canterbury Tourism for the time being.

Tourism New Zealand is however aiming to sensitively reinforce to overseas trade

and media that while our hearts are with Christchurch, and the city will need some

time to recover, we must also continue to care for and host incoming visitors to the

rest of New Zealand."

www.tourismnewzealand.com

Issued by Public Affairs, Tourism New Zealand

1. Re: Update and media release from Tourism NZ re earthquake

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