Chatham Islands tourism is booming with visitor numbers doubling pre-COVID levels

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They are arriving in numbers the island has never seen before – doubling the number of pre-COVID visitors.

The Chathams Hotel is one of the few places to stay and is struggling to keep up with demand.

Croon said the next time they could take a reservation is around the end of May or early June.

Despite the border closures, there is still an international flavor.

Passengers can often find themselves stuck with live seafood destined for local and international markets.

“The economy has been very strong, especially the seafood export economy with high prices to Asia,” Duane Emeny, COO of Air Chathams told Newshub.

One of those companies benefiting from it is the Chatham Island Food Company, which was on the verge of collapse when the pandemic struck.

Now he has built a sustainable home delivery business of fresh seafood to the mainland while also reaching out to the international market.

“A great international export market for the island as a whole,” Chatham Island Food Company general manager Delwyn Tuanui told Newshub.

“Live paua, the lobster is the mainstay of China.”

And right now, that’s the closest those overseas will come close to the Chathams before they can one day fight the Kiwis for a place to stay there, too.

Watch the full story above.

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