After the White Island volcano tragedy, can visitors trust New Zealand’s adventure tourism?

Future travelers may find themselves thinking twice before engaging in tourism that involves the country’s vibrant geo-seismic activity. For the coastal town of Whakatane, which relies on tourism and calls itself the “Gateway to White Island,” this would be a disaster. The wider region is remote and poor, with an unemployment level of 5.8%, compared to a national average of 4.2%. Some 10% of all jobs are in the fast-growing tourism sector, encompassing adventure tourism, Maori cultural experience, and whale watching. White Island’s volcano is the greatest draw.

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