Unexpected Tourism Drawcard
The international publicity from recent eruptions at Tongariro’s Te Maari crater may actually be helpful, according to local tourism operators. Te Maari crater erupted for about five minutes last week, emitting a plume of ash and gas up to 4km into the air. “For now we’re in the spotlight, and sometimes that can turn out to be a positive,” Visit Ruapehu general manager Mike Smith said. “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.” The volcano burst into life for the first time in 115 years in August, when an eruption sent rocks smashing into nearby Ketetahi Hut used as trampers’ accommodation.