Ray Van Beynen from the Mercury Bay Business Association said Cathedral Cove usually attracted up to 300,000 people a year.
But because of the tracks’ closure they were going to places like Rotorua or Taupō.
“People are phoning up from overseas as soon as they hear that the cove or the cove track is closed, they are bypassing us. You know, from an economic and social perspective, the peninsula can’t handle that tremendous loss of revenue,” said Van Beynen.
He said they had tried to offer materials, funding and labour to help repair the track. However, the offers had either been declined or were not even responded to.
He said DoC was not taking the impact of the closure on businesses seriously.
“Under their charter, under their act, they’ve got responsibilities for providing access for recreation and tourism and they’re just focusing on what they say is conservation. There has to be a happy balance with this.”
The Cathedral Cove Water Taxi operates from Hahei beach. Richie McNabb has been operating the boat service while the owner is on leave.
He said the track closure has been another huge blow for the Coromandel but encouraged visitors to keep boat tours in mind.
“It’s no secret, it’s devastating what’s been going on over the last couple of summers, you know, everyone’s getting absolutely flogged from it, but you know, the good times will come back … there’s a lot of good operating boat tours.”
The Department of Conservation confirmed the Cathedral Cove track would not be open this summer and signage has been installed at the beach to let visitors know what the rules are.
While out at the cove, however, RNZ saw some tourists running underneath the archway. Many tourists said the rules were not well signposted.
“I don’t think there was enough signs, at least to the falling rocks and not to go under.”