Local motels and campsites confident

By Genevieve Helliwell

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Summer is set to be a blinder in the Western Bay with plenty of activities and events planned for the festive season.

Early bookings are being made at motels and camp grounds, but there is still plenty of room for out-of-town guests to rest their heads.

Figures from the Tauranga Motel Association show more than 500 spaces are available for guests between December 24-28.

Association treasurer Kris Stamatakos said early bookings indicated it would be a positive Christmas season for moteliers, although guests were expected to leave it until the last minute to book accommodation. "People are leaving it later to book their four, five and six-day holidays ... but looking at it, it looks like it's going to be a fantastic summer."

Availability dropped slightly over the New Year period, where figures showed 280 spaces were available from December 28 to January 4. Mr Stamatakos said the Association involved about 30 local motels and more beds would be available at motels not associated with the group. Athletes were set to converge on Tauranga for the Port of Tauranga Half Ironman on January 5. That weekend, at least 500 spaces were available.

Mr Stamatakos said early bookings were pleasing but now it was a game of "wait and see" to see how the summer would play out. "Confidence is returning and that's really good to see. There may be one or two [motels or campgrounds] booked out but there are still plenty of spaces available if people want to spend time here this summer."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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