Con­fused tourists a ‘con­cern’

Nelson Mail - - NEWS - JEF­FREY KITT

A multi-lin­gual pub­li­ca­tion is on its way to pre­vent out-of-date GPS de­vices lead­ing tourists down the quake-stricken high­way.

Four months on from the Novem­ber 14 earth­quake and tourists are still try­ing to ac­cess Kaik­oura and Christchurch through State High­way 1 from Marl­bor­ough.

In an ef­fort to curb in­cor­rect rout­ing, a South Is­land travel guide with up­dated road con­di­tions will be printed in 10 dif­fer­ent lan­guages by the NZ Trans­port Agency.

NZTA earth­quake re­cov­ery man­ager Steve Mut­ton said many tourists used GPS de­vices which ac­cessed pre-quake maps to send them on im­pos­si­ble routes.

‘‘It’s a real con­cern for us,’’ he said. ‘‘We’re do­ing ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to keep driv­ers in­formed even if their GPS is not up-to-date.’’

Mut­ton could not say how many tourists were still try­ing to ac­cess Kaik­oura from the north us­ing SH1, but noted the manned check­point in Clarence was still turn­ing away mul­ti­ple ve­hi­cles ev­ery day.

The guide, which would be printed in early April, was ex­pected to be printed in Span­ish, Por­tuguese, French, Ger­man, Sim­ple Chi­nese, Tra­di­tional Chi­nese, Ja­panese, Ara­bic and more.

The free guides would be dis­trib­uted on the fer­ries en­ter­ing Pic­ton and co­in­cide with in­ter­com and tele­vi­sion an­nounce­ments.

‘‘It must be very frus­trat­ing for them, so peo­ple need to make sure their maps are up-to-date and en­sure that they are tak­ing the cor­rect way,’’ Mut­ton said. ‘‘We feel hav­ing this guide in dif­fer­ent lan­guages will help. The NZTA wants to do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble so that not only tourists but New Zealan­ders have a good ex­pe­ri­ence on our roads.’’

Road signs were re­viewed by the NZTA ev­ery month to en­sure they dis­played up-to-date in­for­ma­tion.

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