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Rotorua i-Site's Tessa Norton-Campbell has been helping visitors make the most of their Rotorua stay. Photo / Stephen Parker
Rotorua i-Site's Tessa Norton-Campbell has been helping visitors make the most of their Rotorua stay. Photo / Stephen Parker

The Rotorua economy is expected to benefit from increased visitor numbers two weekends in a row with accommodation already filling up for the three day Waitangi weekend.

Visitors keen to make the most of Auckland Anniversary flocked to Rotorua over the past weekend with many enjoying the events on offer, including the Rotorua A&P show and the inaugural Rotorua Summer Seafood Festival.

Rotorua Visitor Centre and i-Site manager Graham Brownrigg said it was another successful long weekend for the city.

"It was a typical long weekend with increased visitor numbers. Accommodation started to get booked out by mid-last week and there were not a lot of options left by the weekend.

"Both i-Site centres were pretty busy - but particularly the Redwood's centre, there were a lot of people enjoying the forest over the weekend."

Mr Brownrigg said the good weather would have encouraged people to get out and enjoy the attractions, but the increase would have already been a "sealed deal".

"We could see by the accommodation that people were planning to come to Rotorua, regardless of what the weather was going to be like."

He expected Waitangi Day to be similar in visitor numbers and said people wanting to stay in Rotorua for this week's long weekend should start booking.

Rotorua Association of Motels chairwoman and owner of Cedarwood Lakeside - Motel and Conference Venue Fiona Suurenbroek said accommodation for next weekend was already sparse.

"It is filling up quite nicely, there's not much left for Waitangi weekend so my advice to people wanting to stay would be to get in quick."

Pig & Whistle general manager Rosie Harding said they had reaped the benefits of the long weekend.

"We had decent crowds for both lunch and dinner, across all three days. We usually have a strong mix of both tourists and our local regulars."

Chamber of Commerce chief executive Darrin Walsh said Rotorua was benefiting from the surge of visitors each long weekend.

"This long weekend it was likely we got many Auckland families looking to get out of the city and decided to come to Rotorua. Their spending their money here and that's got to be good for us."

Mr Walsh said it was possible some of those families would stay the week, making the most of the two long weekends in a row.

"It is likely some will stay the whole week and spend Waitangi Day here too. We definitely see more people around on long weekends but I would say there would be an increase in people around from today to Friday as well."

According to the MetService website, rain is forecast to set in from Friday with the wet weather turning into showers by Monday.

However, the temperature is expected to sit in the mid to high 20s.

Weekend events:

* Tarawera Ultramarathon

* Classic & Wooden Boat Parade

* Hot Tub Funk Band

- Rotorua Daily Post

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