NZ still open, quake-wary tourists reassured

9:45 am on 5 March 2011

Global coverage of the earthquake has prompted tourism agencies to stress that Canterbury and New Zealand are still open for business.

The earthquake, and the subsequent declaration of a national state of emergency, have had wide international media coverage.

Tourism New Zealand says it has been reassuring overseas markets that the quake was confined to Christchuch.

It says it is monitoring travel advisories to ensure they accurately communicate the extent of the earthquake damage and do not mistakenly advise against travel to the rest of the country.

The chief executive of the Tourism Industry Association, Tim Cossar, says it is imperative that tourists thinking of coming to New Zealand have the right information.

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism says the main problem facing the city is a shortage of accommodation, with some central-city hotels heavily damaged.

The Tourism Industry Association says tourism is worth $800 million a year to Canterbury and the sector employs about 10,000 people.