West Coast encourages tourists to visit following floods

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 17 April 2019, 7:24AM
The Pancake rocks in Punakaekiki. Photo / Scarlett Cvitanovich

The Waiho Bridge has reopened after it was washed out in last month's wild weather.

The bridge, which runs between Fox Glacier and Franz Josef, was destroyed after heavy rain hit the area last month.

Development West Coast chief executive Chris Mackenzie told Tim Dower it's a critical time of year for tourist operators.

He says in winter, tourists tend to be on the other side of the mountains for skiing, so the most has to be made of what's left of warmer weather.

"The critical thing with the West Coast is that it tends to have shoulders and peaks of the tourist season.

"This is a really important time of the season for us, we are still having 20 degree sunny days, we need the tourists at this time because during winter the weather isn't particularly nice."

Mr Mackenzie says it's not just the glaciers down south which were hit, but also the upper areas of the coast.

"Some of the hardest hit areas are the towns with a larger population, like Hokitika and Greymouth, they are 70 percent down on business because of the bridge closure."

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