A recent volcano eruption in New Zealand is expected to help tourism in the nation.
After an eruption warning was issued for Mt Tongariro, scientists are now looking to reassess the threat after a drop in volcanic activity. The tourism department is however hopeful that the ‘significant probability’ that Mt Tongariro would erupt again in the next week would turn out to be good for tourism in general.
Initial signs look promising, because Tongariro’s Te Maari crater erupted for about five minutes on Wednesday afternoon, emitting a plume of ash and gas up to four kilometres into the air. Trekkers on the popular Tongariro Alpine Crossing were asked to evacuate, and Air New Zealand flights to regional airports at Taupo, Rotorua and Gisborne were cancelled or re-directed.
Tourism authorities feel that the attention that the nation receives because of the eruption will be converted into tourism revenues. The area is known for its volcanic activity, and international tourists have already been visiting the nation to see its volcanoes.
Visit Ruapehu general manager, Mike Smith, said, ‘For now we’re in the spotlight, and sometimes that can turn out to be a positive. If it’s short term, which we all hope it is, then these things have a funny way of working out in a positive way. If it’s longer term, and particularly over a number of weeks, then it’s more challenging.’
The volcano, which had been inactive for 115 years, burst to life in August.
Civil Defence authorities have said that the threat of an eruption is no longer valid and a national advisory has been cancelled.