Bay of Plenty accommodation providers expect to be ‘all out’ this Christmas

Mount Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park gets pretty full over the New Year period. Photo/NZME

”Tauranga is absolutely open for business. ”

It’s the cry of a business advocate as the city’s accommodation providers roll out the red carpet for the Christmas holidays.

Ōhope accommodation was also quickly booking up while the rulers of Ōpōtiki and Whanganui discouraged Aucklanders from visiting their districts.

According to Airbnb, Tauranga was the most popular destination for Kiwi guests this summer.

Mount Maunganui came fourth on the same list.

Airbnb’s country manager for New Zealand and Australia, Susan Wheeldon, said Kiwis are showing incredible enthusiasm for exploring their own backyards.

“We are particularly seeing an increase in interest in regional areas within driving distance of major cities, and this includes places in the Bay of Plenty region such as Tauranga.”

Wheeldon said ads that bring customers closer to nature have grown in popularity.

“Unique listings such as treehouses, cabins, miniature houses and farm stays are all highly sought after, as well as tarps designed to relax and unwind,
with everything from scenic views to outdoor baths.”

Tauranga is the most searched Airbnb destination for Kiwi guests this summer.  Photo/NZME
Tauranga is the most searched Airbnb destination for Kiwi guests this summer. Photo/NZME

According to Airbnb data, searches by Kiwis for staycations in New Zealand over the summer more than doubled in the 24 hours following the announcement of the Auckland border on November 17.

Accommodation providers in Ōhope and Mount Maunganui expected to be busy during the summer season.

Mount Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park receptionist Aaron Nikora said the park was busy and their on-site cabins and caravan parks were full.

“We are also quite full for the New Year period.”

“The majority of our bookings are holidaymakers from out of town, Auckland and Hamilton staying for long periods.

Ocean Waves Motel manager Hardeep Kaur said after “a very bad year” she was looking forward to a busy summer despite the “many cancellations” due to the no-vaccination and no-vaccine policy. motel stay.

“It was not good at all commercially. [Now] we are definitely busy over the Christmas and New Year period.”

Matt Cowley, Managing Director of the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce.  Photo/NZME
Matt Cowley, Managing Director of the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce. Photo/NZME

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley said most accommodation providers in the West Bay were welcoming the wave of domestic visitors who flocked to the beach during the summer.

“Tauranga is absolutely open for business.”

Cowley said that while some accommodation providers were having a quiet start to December, many had a good pipeline of bookings for the first half of next year, including more business bookings thanks to the removal of the border. ‘Auckland.

“Aucklanders have been locked down for over 100 days. Although Aucklanders have been able to click, collect and shop online, many have been saving money during the lockdown to afford a nice summer break.

“There are many entertainment venues and businesses in West Bay that want to give visitors a good time.”

In the eastern Bay of Plenty, Ōhope Top 10 holiday park owner Ian Smith said he and his staff were “out there”.

Ōhope Top 10 Holiday Park, Ian Smith, said he and his staff were "flat." Photo/NZME
Ian Smith, owner of Ōhope’s Top 10 Holiday Park, said he and his staff were “out there”. Photo/NZME

“Bookings are good. We look solid for this summer.”

Smith said the company will implement a no-vaccination, no-stay policy starting next week.

The park had undergone a thorough health and safety audit to see how it could safely meet its capacity of 3,000 guests and had decided the policy was the best way to operate.

“There are people who are happy and said it made them feel better. For every cancellation, we have a new booking,” Smith said.

“The positive feedback outweighed any negativity.”

Smith said he viewed the vaccination pass as a need for a driver’s license or passport to travel abroad.

Meanwhile, the Ōpōtiki District Council was backing calls from iwi leaders to try to stop Aucklanders from traveling to the district.

A Whanganui iwi chief was also pleading with holidaymakers to reconsider their plans to visit the area this summer to protect its communities from Covid.

About Michael B. Billingsley

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