5 Apr 2009

RSA wants fewer NZers to visit Gallipoli on Anzac Day

6:28 pm on 5 April 2009

The Returned and Services' Association is urging New Zealanders to spread out their visits to Gallipoli instead of descending in droves on Anzac Day.

Thousands of New Zealanders and Australians visit the site on Anzac Day every year to commemorate the nearly 3,000 New Zealanders killed there during World War I.

RSA president Robin Klitscher says it's possible that influx is too much for the site.

He says it's an extraordinary act of generosity for Turkey to have allowed memorials and annual commemorations, over the past 90 years, for what was an invading force.

Mr Klitscher says he's heard more than 1,000 busloads can arrive in the area on Anzac Day and he's asking New Zealanders to consider whether this is acceptable or sustainable.

Mr Klitscher says visiting Gallipoli at other times of the year is a chance for quieter reflection.

But a tour operator, Robyn Galloway, says roads have been widened to cope with tourists on Anzac Day and the majority respect the sombreness of the occasion.

An estimated 20 thousand people have attended some services in the past prompting calls for limits on numbers.