The Invercargill i-SITE visitor information and booking centre will close indefinitely as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The i-SITE, part of Tourism New Zealand’s official visitor information network and operated by Great South, has been temporarily based at Wachner Place since the Southland Museum and Art Gallery closed in 2018.
Its doors will close on 23 December 2020 and the building will be removed from the site.
Great South chief executive Graham Budd said it was no longer tenable for the i-SITE to remain open, with the drop in international travellers since COVID-19 resulting in a major decline in revenue.
“We have fought hard to keep the i-SITE open for as long as we have since lockdown, but sadly the time has come, for now at least.”
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, i-SITE NZ had initiated a review of the role of i-SITEs in the tourism sector. An outcome guiding the future of the network is expected mid-2021.
“Great South will continue to work closely with i-SITE NZ and Tourism New Zealand, and the situation will be reviewed when borders reopened and international travel resumes,” Mr Budd said.
Following a consultation process, affected staff (1.2 FTE) and all services the i-SITE was a booking agent for had been informed about the change.
“We would particularly like to thank our staff for their dedication to promoting our region to visitors,” Mr Budd said.
Bookings for external services would now need to be completed directly with the service provider or through the national i-SITE network online at www.isite.nz or phone 0800 474 830.
DOC Visitor Centres and Southland retailers selling Backcountry Hut Tickets are listed on the DOC website www.doc.govt.nz. Backcountry Hut Passes are available to purchase at all DOC Visitor Centres and the Invercargill DOC Office.
Southland’s regional promotional website www.southlandnz.com remains a key place to source information about the region for visitors and locals.
All information about where to complete bookings in the future is below. Or you can download the sign here: Invercargill i-SITE - Closing Sign - A4.pdf