Tourism support package for Hurunui announced

3:02 pm on 14 December 2016

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has announced a $350,000 package to help boost tourism in Hanmer Springs and the Hurunui District, following last month's earthquake.

Amuri Ave, Hanmer Springs.

There has been a drop in Hanmer Springs' tourist activity following the quake. Photo: WikiCommons

Businesses in the tourist town have suffered following the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on 14 November.

Mr Joyce said Hanmer Springs has not experienced significant structural damage from the quakes but has suffered a sharp downturn in tourism activity.

He said the government would be providing up to $250,000 of marketing support, to help attract Cantabrians and other tourists to the district.

A further $100,000 will support regional tourism organisations to employ additional staff, for up to six months.

Christian Chester, the chair of the town's business association and manager of Hanmer Springs Attractions, said the funding was a big relief.

"We're obviously very appreciative of government stepping in and helping out. It sends tingles, because it means we can get back on track. Otherwise, we would have been on the back foot for a couple of years, I would say."

Mr Chester said business was about 15 percent lower than normal for him.