Kim Fulton is a NZME. News Service regional reporter

Hawke's Bay ready for summer tourists

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Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas says events will continue to attract visitors to the region over the summer months.
Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas says events will continue to attract visitors to the region over the summer months.

Visitor numbers are up in Hawke's Bay and the biggest summer events season yet is expected to attract even more to the region.

Statistics New Zealand data shows Hawke's Bay and Gisborne guest nights were up 19.1 per cent this September on last to 86,000.

The region also experienced guest night increases throughout the winter months. Guest nights were up 16.7 per cent this June on last to 74,000. In July they increased 22 per cent to 86,000. In August they rose 22.3 per cent to 73,000.

Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas said Hawke's Bay had a huge boost in commercial accommodation results for August and September.

"So we're pretty delighted about that, and I think it's the sign of a trend that's probably going to continue through the summer months."

She said Hawke's Bay had a huge number of events over winter.

Winter Deco had record numbers this year and brass band championships brought many to the region in July. There had also been several big secondary school sporting tournaments in Hawke's Bay.

Ms Dundas said the busiest summer events season yet was coming up.

IronMaori in early December would be "massive".

The general "family and friends market" would return over the Christmas and January period.

Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival would bring in close to 20,000 people in February.

The region also had the Mission Concert and one-day cricket matches and other events to look forward to.

Ms Dundas said international visitor numbers to the region were solid and growing. However, domestic numbers were particularly strong.

Statistics New Zealand said international visitors continued to boost guest-night numbers this September, particularly for motels and hotels.

National guest nights for September 2016 were 6.4 per cent higher than in September 2015.

Business indicators senior manager Neil Kelly said more than two-thirds of the rise in guest nights was from foreign visitors.

For September 2016, compared with the previous September international guest nights were up 12.4 per cent and domestic guest nights were up 3 per cent.

North Island guest nights were up 6.6 per cent, and South Island guest nights were up 6 per cent.

For the year ended September 2016, national guest nights were up 6.2 per cent from September last year.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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