Rotorua Daily Post health and business reporter

Rotorua gearing up for Labour Weekend

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Rotorua is expecting yet another hectic Labour Weekend. PHOTO/FILE
Rotorua is expecting yet another hectic Labour Weekend. PHOTO/FILE

Town is filling up fast as Rotorua prepares for an influx of Labour Weekend visitors - with fine weather forecast for much of the three-day break.

Barely any beds are left in town, while tourist operators are gearing for the annual flood of visitors.

Destination Rotorua interim chief executive officer Andrew Wilson said the visitor industry was preparing up for what it anticipated would be a busy Labour Weekend.

"This is normally a big weekend for domestic tourism and early indications point to this one following suit. After a very wet school holidays we are just hoping for good weather to entice people to the region and ensure they enjoy all of the things that make Rotorua such a world class destination.

"Winter has delivered consistently strong visitor statistics, with record-breaking months posted in both July and August. We hope that this long weekend will continue that positive trend and signal the start of what could be the Rotorua visitor industry's biggest summer on record."

iSite and Visitor Centre team leader Tysha-Lee Ranclaud said the Rotorua iSite was always extremely busy over Labour Weekend.

"Town is consistently packed with domestic visitors on Monday, while the Redwoods iSite is projected to see a large increase in numbers throughout the weekend.

"Almost all of our commercial accommodation is already full. At this rate some people might be disappointed if they arrive here on Saturday without having pre-booked where they are going to stay."

Rotorua Association of Motels chairman Mike Gallagher said both the motels he operated were booked for the weekend and the feedback from other moteliers in the association was similar.

MetService forecaster Stephen Glassey said the rain was expected to stay away for most of the weekend - with Sunday the pick of the days for outdoor activities.

"It's actually looking like there will be a good spell of dry weather for Rotorua."

He said the front bringing showers to much of the North Island, including Rotorua, was expected to clear tomorrow morning and it would become fine tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday was expected to be fine with the weather gradually starting to deteriorate slightly on Monday afternoon and the rain returning on Tuesday.

"Sunday will be the best day, and it's a couple of degrees warmer with a high of 19C."

Meanwhile, state highways in Bay of Plenty will be busy and the NZ Transport Agency is reminding drivers to plan ahead to avoid delays and stay safe.

"When you combine the higher number of cars on the road, tiredness and driving on unfamiliar roads it can create stressful driving situations which can in turn lead to mistakes," said the Transport Agency's Waikato and Bay of Plenty state highways manager, Niclas Johansson.

"There's a lot of construction and maintenance happening on state highways across the regions and we ask motorists to slow down through these sites. Even when there's not obvious work taking place there are hazards that mean you should keep within the reduced speed limit to keep yourselves, your families and other road users safe. It also reduces damage to what can be newly surfaced or repaired roads."

Top tips for safe Labour Weekend travel

Take time to make sure your vehicle is safe before hitting the road
Do not drink and drive
Allow plenty of time, avoid the need to rush, share the driving and enjoy the journey
Plan your route and your time of travel to avoid congestion

- Rotorua Daily Post

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