Bus company awarded red zone tour contract

6:34 am on 15 June 2012

Regular sightseeing tours through inner Christchurch may soon become a tourist fixture following the awarding of a contract to a bus company.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority chief executive Roger Sutton says three operators registered an interest but Red Bus had the most comprehensive plan.

Previous bus and walking tours run by the authority have proved extremely popular, but came at a financial cost.

More than 28,000 people took advantage of weekend and evening trips in the red zone over a six-week period, but the venture was taxpayer funded.

The $60,000 passengers gave in gold coin donations did not cover the $220,000 operating costs.

Mr Sutton says it is unclear what the demand will be, but it will be up to Red Bus to determine where, when and how much tours will cost.

The tours can start as soon as the health and safety plan has been approved, he says.