Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Town hopping with tourists

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Tourists are pictured here packing up and leaving town from Rotorua's i-Site after a big weekend in the city. Photo / Ben Fraser
Tourists are pictured here packing up and leaving town from Rotorua's i-Site after a big weekend in the city. Photo / Ben Fraser

Rotorua's golden summer has rolled over into autumn with another bumper long weekend in the city.

Thousands of people converged on the city's bars and restaurants, and flooded stores - the ones allowed to open - as well as filling motels and keeping tourist operators busy.

Rotorua i-Site manager Graham Brownrigg said there was no room at the inn over the weekend with almost all accommodation providers saying they were "sold out".

"There was no accommodation available, so a really busy weekend, which is just great."

He said the majority were domestic visitors visiting town for events and a short break.

"All of our attractions have seen a lot of business, especially Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we were full to sold out.

"Domestic tourism has been really popular with the Famously Rotorua [marketing] campaign really seeing some good returns," he said.

The Warehouse Rotorua team leader Tracey Dunbar said the long weekend got off to a slow start but "finished on a real high".

"Saturday was very busy with lots of visitors from out of town.

"Close a shop for a day and people think they have been shut out for a month," she said.

Rotorua Association of Motels chairwoman and Cedarwood Lakeside Motel & Conference Venue owner Fiona Suurenbroek said association members had reported a bumper Easter.

"As far as I'm aware all of our members were full for the weekend, with a mix of families and quite a spread of different people. There were also lots of Americans and Australian travellers too."

She said there would be a short quiet period before more school holidays and Anzac weekend with more events bringing people to town.

"It's looking really good for the next month or so at least."

Mountain Bike Rotorua director Tak Mutu said his team were struggling to keep up this Easter. "It's just been crazy. We literally had one of our slowest days of the season, followed by one of our busiest. When it bucketed down we sent staff home for a day off, and the next day it was just madness, the forest was packed."

Eat Streat Collective secretary and Brew Craft Beer Pub co-owner Paul Croucher said the street was busy.

"Particularly on Sunday night where we were the busiest we have been since Crankworx last year. It was just heaving. We went out for dinner Sunday night and found it difficult to find a place that could fit us in. It's been a great weekend."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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