2018 was an eventful year for South Canterbury. The Courier reporters Greta Yeoman, Claire Allison and Chris Tobin look back at some of the leading stories of the year’s papers.
The Courier‘s 2018 coverage began with boosted visitor numbers to the Mackenzie, reported on January 11.
Department of Conservation Aoraki-Mt Cook manager Brent Swanson told The Courier at the time the revenue generated by the camping ground near Aoraki-Mt Cook Village had increased by 45% compared with the same time last year.
He said staff had also seen increased interest in the walks around the national park, especially with the good run of weather.
The Department of Conservation (Doc) and other agencies across the Mackenzie district have been preparing for the 2018-19 summer season for months, installing more portable and permanent toilets, upgrading campsites, employing rangers to monitor freedom campers and upgrading other facilities.
Mackenzie Mayor Graham Smith said last month that the council was looking forward to a busy tourist season, backed by the new infrastructure to deal with rising visitor numbers.
“[The] Mackenzie is recognised as a tourist hot spot.”
International visitor spending in the Mackenzie district passed $200million in the year ending September 2018, surpassing the $170million spent in the previous 12 months.