Coro i-Site shut down

MARYANNE TWENTYMAN
Last updated 05:00 27/11/2012

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Visitors to Coromandel township will have to fend for themselves after the closure of the town's i-Site.

Thames Coromandel District Council has withdrawn funding from the incorporated society delivering the service after financial reports indicated the organisation was technically insolvent.

Council economic development manager Benjamin Day said a decision in 2010 to significantly increase permanent staff numbers was the centre's downfall, at a time when turnover and revenue were "declining dramatically".

"Turnover from sales was approximately $460,000 in 2010, but was in free-fall to a point where this year they'd be lucky to turn over $200,000; they never recovered or corrected from the mistake of increasing overheads during a recession," Mr Day said.

Local tourist operators are expected to meet tonight in the hope of finding a solution to the i-Site closure.

Mussel Barge Snapper Safaris owner/operator Megan Andrews commended the council for trying to save the i-Site but said it was now time for tourism operators to pitch in and find solutions.

"We certainly can't do without an i-Site service, we have to work this out."

Destination Coromandel manager Hadley Dryden said the closure should serve as a warning to all i-Sites.

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- Waikato Times

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