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Tourists warned to avoid Christchurch

Travellers planning to visit earthquake-hit Christchurch in the coming week are being advised to postpone their travel plans unless it is essential they visit the area.

Tourism New Zealand described Christchurch as being in “recovery mode” following Saturday’s devastating earthquake.

Travel agents now face enquiries from people booked to visit the city after Tourism New Zealand advised consumers to check with their retailer or accommodation provider before arriving in Christchurch.
 
The national tourist office is working with Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism and emergency services in the region to get reliable information to visitors and travel sellers.

The city’s international airport is up fully operational. International and domestic visitors are able to land and depart and to connect with other cities and regions.

Several airlines have changed their flight amendment policies in light of the earthquake. 
 
Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said: “The city has obviously been seriously affected and if visitors are planning a trip, they should contact their travel agent and accommodation provider before leaving.
 
“The important thing is that those living and working in Christchurch are able to sort out their own safety and wellbeing in the first few days following the earthquake.

“New Zealand as a whole is certainly open for business, but those intending to stay in Christchurch are advised to check arrangements before leaving so they are not putting extra pressure on the region at the moment.”

Regular tourism updates will be carried on www.newzealand.com and www.christchurchnz.com.

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