Protecting and promoting The Chatham Islands

Recent airport infrastructure investment on the Chatham Islands and increased air capacity present an opportunity to shape its tourism offering to ensure that it gives back to its environment and people. ​

"There's a unique opportunity to use increased visitation to the island to design the kind of future the Island wants for its people while supporting biodiversity," says Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen England- Hall.

England-Hall met with tourism operators recently to discuss opportunities and explore what the Island has to offer.

Tourism New Zealand is focused on supporting the recovery of the tourism sector by encouraging domestic visitation that gives back to New Zealand for the long term.

The Government recently announced a $36 million project to upgrade and extend Inia William Tuuta Memorial Airport on the Island which allows for increased freight and passenger capacity.

The Island, which has 660 residents and is located 800 kilometres east of the South Island has experienced a noticeable increase in interest from Kiwis wanting to head there after lockdown ended.

"For some, the Island is the closest thing to going overseas without needing a passport. With borders closed and a real desire to do something new, the appeal of the Islands alongside increased air capacity is growing."  

"It's incredibly important that the Island finds a way to accommodate visitation in a way that protects its amazing offering while allowing Kiwis to enjoy it and we are happy to support that how we can."