Tekapo info centre to reopen
Tekapo's information centre has been saved, after a local business stepped in to take it over.
The Mackenzie Tourism and Development Trust, its former administrators, closed the centre in June, making three people redundant. However, Tekapo Springs general manager Cathy Hemsworth confirmed that it had acquired the lease of the old site, and would run an information service out of the building.
"It will be a different set-up to the old i-Site. We will be running a referrals, rather than a booking service.
"We won't be seeking any commission from the operators, but we will be running a retail operation at the site, and allow other organisations to advertise with us," she said.
Tekapo Springs' decision brings an end to the saga of the visitor centres that were formerly run by the Mackenzie Tourism and Development Trust. Over the last year, a local promotions association has taken over the Twizel information centre, while Mt Cook Alpine Salmon will take over the Lake Pukaki visitor centre, which the trust closed just before Christmas.
Tekapo community board chairman Murray Cox said the most recent announcement filled a gap in the market, but people were still wondering about the future of tourism in the district. The Mackenzie District Council disbanded the tourism trust in June, but will keep funding for tourism and economic development at $250,000 a year. "I understand the council will put together a working party to discuss the future of tourism in the region, but I haven't heard anything else about it yet.
"The trust went through several upheavals in the last year or so, but I'm optimistic that something good will come out of it."
The new centre will open on October 1. Ms Hemsworth said it would run seven days a week.
"We will have to bring in some new staff to run it, although some of it will be dealt with in-house."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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