Events drawcard as more pay visit

By Trevor Quinn,

Events, great scenery and fabulous weather has led to a major increase in visitor numbers, says Destination Wairarapa general manager David Hancock.

Mr Hancock said new figures, showed Wairarapa received a 10.7 per cent increase in visitors in December.

He said music events such as La De Da had given the region a big boost in December and he expected Wings Over Wairarapa would have a similarly positive impact on the January visitor numbers.

"As well as the events, we've got such a range of things to do here," he said.

"It's a great place for a driving holiday, we've got wonderful country roads which go through pleasant towns and villages and the south coast is accessible unlike anywhere else in the lower North Island."

The figures are in contrast to Trust House chief executive Bernard Teahan's comments this week that a nationwide drop in visitor numbers was affecting hotels, bars, cafes and restaurants.

He said the Copthorne Hotel & Resort Solway Park in Masterton had had a downturn in occupancy and a decline in bookings.

Mr Hancock declined to respond to Mr Teahan's comments.

The Destination Wairarapa figures show that Wairarapa guest arrivals in December, 11,741, were up 10.7 per cent on December last year.

Guest arrivals nationally were up 2.4 per cent for the same month.

Mr Hancock said he was delighted with the December figures but also eager to ensure growth in visitors continued.

"We can look forward to try and get similar results for March and April."

He said Destination Wairarapa had been working hard to target domestic visitors and was using social media to promote Wairarapa events.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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