The Mount Tongariro eruption on New Zealand's North Island has sparked an unsuspecting tourist draw. Even with the shutting down of highways and scampered air travel, tourism operators have said that there has been an increase in interest in the area since Monday's eruption.
The volcano that is drawing in tourists, blew at least three new vents near the Te Mari crators. The volcano has long been dormant. Tourism related businesses nearby will have to suffer the loss unfortunately, waiting at least a few weeks till the Tongariro Alpine crossing opens.
Stewart Barclay owner of the guiding company Adrift NZ said to New Zealand's TV One that, "When we get that all clear, we're really looking forward to getting up there and checking out the new landscape with a few new vents and rocks spattered everywhere. Then the visitors, I think, will come in droves to check it out."
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a beautiful setting that was featured in "Lord of the Rings" and is known world wild for its scenic beauty. Barclay noted that tourists have been contacting him more frequently after the eruption. Many tourists are interested in seeing the new craters that the volcano left behind.
Reportedly the number of people visiting the website, tongarirocrossing.org.nz increased from 240 per day to 24,000 within 24 hours after the eruption. Tourists seem to be drawn to the excitement of viewing a volcano that just erupted.
"Jan Hayter, of Tongariro Expeditions said to The New Zealand Herald, "The summer's coming, and we're going to have lots of tourists that want to come and see the No. 1 volcanic mountain. Wouldn't you want to come and see the mountain that's just erupted?"
To find out more about visiting Mount Tongariro, see here.