Methven's Ōpuke Thermal Pools and Spa opened

The Ōpuke Pools in Methven. Photo: Supplied
The Ōpuke Pools in Methven. Photo: Supplied
A new tourism attraction launched in the Canterbury high country aims to make the area a year round tourist destination.

Regional Economic Development and Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the Ōpuke Thermal Pools and Spa at Methven - a project which received government backing from the Provincial Growth Fund.

It received a $7.5 million loan tailored to the project.

The new thermal pool, spa and well-being complex was a vote of confidence in the future of tourism and the local economy, Nash said.

"Ōpuke Pools is an example of innovative thinking and partnerships. It offers new economic solutions to challenges facing the town, local businesses and jobs. The complex uses solar power from a farm of solar panels to heat water straight from the mountains.

"It will allow Methven to become a year-round tourist destination, building on its existing reputation as a winter skiing and adventure resort. It will help the economy transition from a focus on short-term jobs, to an 'all year' town with more visitors and permanent jobs."

It was the third largest Provincial Growth Fund project in the Canterbury region.

"The wider Canterbury region experienced a boom in domestic tourism prior to the latest Covid-19 outbreak, as Kiwis got off the beaten track to see their own backyard, with government tourism promotions like the "Do Something New, NZ" marketing campaign," Nash said.

"Domestic tourism spending in Canterbury was worth $1.44 billion in the year to September 2021, an increase of 25 per cent on the previous year, and up 21 per cent on pre-Covid spending in the year to September 2019.

"We have faith in the Ōpuke vision and want the best for the Methven regional economy,"

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