Beach accommodation booked out

By Sandra Conchie

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Laura and Don Murray have been camping at the same campsite at the Mount Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park for almost 60 years.
Laura and Don Murray have been camping at the same campsite at the Mount Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park for almost 60 years.

Bay holidaymakers wanting a room at short notice for their summer break are probably out of luck, with most accommodation sites chocka or a few rooms shy of being so.

It was already shaping up to be bumper summer season for the region's accommodation providers, eateries and most retailers.

Papamoa Beach Resort manager Joy Archer said: "We're absolutely at capacity with 1100 people in our camp sites."

Ms Archer said the resort had been probably 80 per cent booked out for the Christmas-New Year break by May, and now was fully booked through to January 12.

"The phones have been running red hot with inquiries from people who unfortunately left their bookings until the last minute. We've had to turn them away.

"We are also currently sitting at 90 per cent up occupancy up to the end of January and if it's a long hot summer like last year, we expect to be fully booked soon," she said.

Omanu's Cosy Corner Family Holiday Park owner Greg Davidson said he was fully booked from December 27 to January 10, with only a few gaps from January 10 to 17.

"Some people tend to delay booking until they check what the weather is going to be like, or check they have enough money. We've had to turn lots of people away."

Mr Davidson said he expected to be full until the end of January. However, the past trend of booking for three or four weeks had changed. Some visitors had halved the length of their stay, and some spent two weeks overseas.

Mount Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park manager Mark Hales said cabins and on-site caravans were booked out by October and most camping sites by the end of November. Mr Hales said the park was at capacity until January 10. "From January 11 our vacancies will free up a bit but every day we're fielding inquiries from all over the place, including lots of overseas visitors, so the situation changes daily.

"If it's another long hot summer as we hope, we expect to be full right through January."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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