Plans to develop a new multimillion-dollar tourist attraction in Bluff are progressing, although a range of other things will need to be in place before it goes ahead.

The proposal to develop Bluff Oyster World was first aired as part of the Southland Regional Development Strategy in late 2016.

The concept for the attraction includes an oyster-themed museum and restaurant with conference/function facilities, retail space selling tourism products and fresh local produce, and potentially a hub for other tourism operators.

Awarua Developments Ltd (ADL) director and chairwoman Aimee Kaio said a feasibility study had proven favourable so they were now putting together a business case.


''Yes this is feasible ... but there are some risks,'' she said.

''We need to encourage more infrastructure, accommodation, tour products, cafes etc, in place beforehand to align with the building of a commercial entity of this scale.''

ADL was established in 2016 by a group of Ngai Tahu Bluff residents to oversee projects designed to rejuvenate the town.

The development was estimated to cost between $5 million and $10 million, Ms Kaio said.

ADL planned to seek funding from the Government's Provincial Growth Fund, she said.

- By Petrina Wright

Southland Express