Coastal Restoration Trust of New Zealand

Coastal Dune Ecosystem Reference Database

Tourism and the Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai: A rapid appraisal of services offered and key stakeholder perspectives.

Lizamore, C., &; Montgomery, R.
Journal / Source
A report prepared for: Environment Canterbury The Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust Tertiary Education Commission
Publisher / Organisation
Faculty of Environment, Society and Design, Lincoln University
Prepared in 2010 for Environment Canterbury, the Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust, and the Tertiary Education Commission, the purpose of this report was to conduct a rapid appraisal of the tourism potential of the Avon-Heathcote Ihutai Estuary. To achieve this, existing tourism activities and facilities in the estuary were mapped via interviews which sought to ascertain the perspectives of key estuary stakeholders regarding the tourism potential of the estuary. Those interviewed included representatives from nearby accommodation, restaurant, tourism, and entertainment-based operations, representatives from the Canterbury Windsports Association, the Estuary Trust, and a local yacht club, a local kite and windsurfing retail manager, an ornithologist, and a plant ecologist. Results demonstrated that stakeholders generally had low awareness of the estuary as a tourism destination, yet appeared optimistic regarding its potential if some changes were made. ‘Tidying up’ the estuary was the overriding concern for improving tourism potential. Another suggestion included designing a guided wildlife walk through the estuary and oxidation ponds. Most stakeholders supported the proposed nomination of the estuary for “Ramsar Status”, but did not support it as a stand-alone tool to attract tourists. Following these findings, the report recommended better inter-organisation to create a Ferrymead ‘tourism hub’, careful monitoring and management of the impacts of tourism on wildlife and the water system, and improved awareness of the estuary in accommodation and restaurant sectors.