The return of cruise ships to Lyttelton will directly benefit North Canterbury tourism operators, Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey says.
Doocey said he and Kaikoura MP Stuart Smith had advocated for North Canterbury tourism operators whose businesses were affected when Lyttelton Port could no longer berth cruise ships after the 2011 earthquake.
“Visitor numbers to North Canterbury dropped significantly with the loss of cruise ship tourists. One operator in the Waimak lost a large part of his trade overnight. It’s been a long battle and the return of these liners is going to mean some of our local people can stay in business,” Doocey said.
The Lyttelton Port Company yesterday released plans for the new $56 million cruise ship berth expected to be opened in spring 2019.
“Stuart Smith and I, at the request of local tourism operators like Alpine Jet Waimak, met with the Port company, Christchurch City Council and Canterbury Tourism, to advocate for the return of cruise ships to Lyttelton and to bring home the effect that this has on tourism in North Canterbury. Travel logistics for tourists docking in Akaroa led to a sharp decline in visitor numbers to our area,” Doocey said.