Maori owned company Whale Watch Kaikoura says development of the town's peninsula is back on the radar. The economic downturn in 2008 pushed the plans to the backburner.
A 250-room hotel, a visitor centre, shops and restaurants are some of the proposals permitted within the Kaikoura Peninsula Tourism Zone in order to boost the numbers of tourists visiting the town.
Whale Watch Kaikoura's general manager, Kauahi Ngapora, said the development had been almost ready to go when the global financial crisis hit.
He said a lot of the preparation work had already been done, but the company needed to check the business environment was right before going ahead.
Mr Ngapora said the peninsula plans were the next step for the whale watching business.
He said Kaikoura is a weather dependent destination, but the development will provide year-round attractions.