Guilt will be one factor facing the Christchurch tourism industry as it tries to rebuild itself said the director of Adventure South, Geoff Gabites.

"People feel guilty about being on holiday when there is so much devastation around them," he said.

Christchurch-based Adventure South puts together multi-day trips for more than 1000 travellers every year and while it isn't reliant on the day market because its clients are heading off to cycle the Otago Rail Trail or going on hiking trips to the Marlborough and Milford Sounds or southern Alps, Christchurch is the start and finish point for many of the trips.

"That did raise some concerns so for days after the quake we were meeting our groups at the airport and driving them out to Methven so they didn't have to worry about being in the city."

In a huge logistical exercise Gabites had to re-home dozens of his travellers who arrived back from their excursions just after the quake and he said he couldn't have done it without the amazing help of the visitor centers and tourism operators around Canterbury who found beds for the oversees guests everywhere from Kaikoura to Tekapo.

"Adversity certainly brought out the best in people," he said.

Gabites said he has lost about a dozen bookings from people who found the situation "just too big" but also sadly he had people cancelling trips because of misinformation about the state of Christchurch.

"One person who cancelled told us they'd heard on the news the city had been leveled, the airport was closed because the air-traffic control tower had collapsed and the city would be closed for months. Once he knew it wasn't like that he was keen to rebook."

But if tourists aren't worried about coming to Canterbury from a safety point of view, they are remorseful about being on holiday.

"They don't want to be seen to be enjoying themselves and they feel guilty," Gabites said.

"I've taken to personally explaining that I'm responsible for the livelihood of over 20 people and the hosts on the Rail Trail are all dependent on the visitors to make a living.

"The message is that the tourism dollar goes further than any other spend so it's important for the city that visitors do keep coming. Staying with us helps immensely."

He said mostly people research their trips quite well and have made a commitment to it so once they've been reassured they are safe they are happy to go ahead with their travel.

"They also want to help. Our last group had a whip around before they left and passed on a donation to the earthquake fund."

So while Gabites knows the road ahead won't be easy and it will take time to rebuild confidence, he said it's business as usual, and there's no need to feel guilty about it.