11 Oct 2012

New restrictions for tour operators in Akaroa

10:33 pm on 11 October 2012

Tourism operators in Akaroa face new restrictions on the way they can offer services to cruise ship passengers.

The Christchurch City Council sent letters to tour guides last week stating that the wharf will be off-limits for operators and there will be restrictions on the size of advertising signs and spaces where guides can approach passengers.

The rules also mean that tours can only be sold for that day, and not for future stops at other ports.

Pohatu Penguin Tours director Shireen Helps says the new site for tour guides is already congested and could give cruise ship operators reason to push them even further away.

"If there is a health and safety issue, they will close us all down - that has got all alarm bells ringing.

"The cruise ships are not really happy with us being there at all because we are selling our product in plain view to all of the people that have gone on their trips."

Ms Helps says the rules do not come into force until 24 October, but operators have been asked to follow them when the first cruise ship arrives on Saturday.

The council says the need for guidelines was identified last season and it has been in talks with tour operators.