Tourism industry supports red zone helicopter tours

3:25 pm on 8 July 2011

Canterbury's regional tourism organisation is applauding a company that is offering helicopter sightseeing tours of Christchurch's inner-city red zone.

HeliPro Christchurch is offering discounted 15-minute helicopter flights over the quake-crippled central city.

The company says it has had some criticism from members of the public who say the flights are insensitive and distressing.

But Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter is urging people to accept quake-related tourism.

Mr Hunter says tourism initiatives like the helicopter tours will keep local businesses afloat during an uncertain time.

HeliPro manager Regan Graham says the company is offering flights to raise money for a double-amputee and never intended to cause upset.

Mr Graham says the company has been inundated with bookings for the flights, which will continue for as long as there is demand and most of the feedback received has been positive.