An $870,000 support package will promote tourism in Kaikoura and other upper South Island districts impacted by last November’s earthquakes.

The funding will help bring in more international visitors for the 2017/18 peak season following a challenging summer, Tourism Minister Paula Bennett says.

“We remain 100 per cent committed to the people of Kaikoura and the top of the South Island following last year’s devastating earthquakes,” says Mrs Bennett.

“Kaikoura District saw a fall in visitor spending after the earthquake, and though it recovered somewhat in December 2016, it was still only at half normal levels and has remained relatively flat since then.

“Funding of $650,000 will go to Kaikoura to enable a strong and early marketing push for the 2017/18 peak season. It will also support work to attract more domestic visitors now, with the majority of the region’s tourism, retail and hospitality establishments open for business.

“Marlborough’s tourism industry is also expected to take a hit during the autumn and winter months, with State Highway 1 remaining partly closed south of the region. Funding of $150,000 will be used to encourage domestic visitors to continue to visit the region.

“A further $70,000 will be made available to promote common Top of the South touring routes to the international travel trade, as these have changed following the earthquake.”

The funding sits alongside a $350,000 tourism relief package for Hanmer Springs and the Hurunui District announced in late 2016.

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