Rebuild good for tourism
The Christchurch rebuild presents a huge domestic tourism opportunity for Marlborough, says Picton's EcoWorld Aquarium owner John Reuhman.
Mr Reuhman was one of 17 Marlborough business owners who attended a forum in Christchurch this week to connect with leaders of the Christchurch rebuild and get an update on progress.
Marlborough tourism operators could look at tailoring different packages for Christchurch families, construction workers and professionals looking for short breaks from the quake city, he said.
"We are the playground for Cantabrians and this is the single biggest domestic tourism opportunity we will ever get."
The Marlborough District Council and the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce had done a good job of initiating the trip to Christchurch, and it was time for the tourism industry to take the next step, he said.
Mr Reuhman has had a series of meetings with Destination Marlborough and various tourism operators this week, to gauge interest and develop ideas.
"It's very early days, but we've made the visit to Christchurch and now it's time to shape things up."
Destination Marlborough general manager Tracy Johnston said Marlborough had always been an attractive proposition for Cantabrians.
Marlborough tourism operators had reported good numbers of holidaymakers from Christchurch during the summer holidays.
"Our No 1 domestic market is Canterbury.
"We already perform very strongly out of that market and we will continue to keep sending the message," she said.
Although Destination Marlborough was not represented at the forum in Christchurch, they sent invitation packs, including tickets to the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival, to various media outlets in Christchurch reminding them of Marlborough's charms.