The New Zealand government has announced that they will dedicate $13 million to upgrade flood protection Milford Sound in New Zealand.
Milford Sound is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist spots. Flood protection seems like a good idea - Milford Sound receives over 8 meters of rain per year.
Given the fact that there is only one (narrow) road into the place, and one small airstrip, the impact of a flood on tourism could be huge. The $13 million isn’t a large amount given the area generates around $230 million per year from tourism.
But I like to think it’s more than protecting tourism dollars. Because of the natural beauty of Milford Sound, tourists to the area tend to become interested in the natural environment and the importance of looking after it.
New Zealand’s Tourism Minister, Damien Miller, says about the flood protection:
This means that we can continue to provide the best possible facilities to visitors, while also protecting the natural beauty of the sound.
Is it Really the Wettest Place?
At 8 meters of rain per year, Milford Sound is the wettest place in New Zealand. It is also one of the wettest places on earth.