Central Tauranga business owners are celebrating after another busy long weekend, putting this year's success down to good weather drawing in bumper crowds.

The Strand was a hot spot for visitors over the weekend with the National Jazz Festival Downtown Carnival bringing in huge crowds on Saturday and Sunday.

It was Brew Bar's second year experiencing the Jazz Festival and manager Mark O'Connor said the place was packed.

The special licence to serve alcohol without food was a huge help on Sunday, as well as extending the bar's outside boundary, allowing for more customers, Mr O'Connor said.


Yesterday was quieter with wet weather and the crowds moved on to the Historic Village for the Jazz Village.

Mr O'Connor said Easter weekend was one of the busiest weekends of the year, behind New Year.

Macau Bar Kitchen and Lounge general manager Debbie Griffiths thought the improvement on last year was down to the good weather.

The addition of a fourth stage on The Strand was also a bonus for the crowds.

"It brings in thousands of people because they close the roads so it encourages people to spend some time and relax."

Regional Hospitality Association president Alan Sciascia said Easter was normally a very busy weekend for bars and restaurants on The Strand.

Downtown Tauranga spokeswoman Sally Cooke said Saturday and Sunday were both great for Tauranga's's CBD and it was great to see so many people pack the streets.

Most shops opened on Saturday and got into the Easter spirit and Saturday and Sunday were both great days for the hospitality businesses.


"One would hope the spin-off from that is that they've done very well."

Exact figures from Downtown Tauranga and Mount Mainstreet would not be known until later in the week.

Tauranga Motel Association president Bruce Rutherford, of Kaimai View Motel, said most motels he dealt with were booked up in advance.

He had received about 30 calls a day from people looking for accommodation over the weekend at his motel alone, he said.

"I think it was a bit heavier than average. Any busy weekend is a good weekend."

Mount Mainstreet manager Peter Melgren said Mount Maunganui had been busy all weekend with three cruise ships in, plus many of the crowd of up to 10,000 people from Easter in the Park milling along to the shops on Sunday.

As most shops were closed on Friday and Sunday, Saturday was an "excellent" trading day for businesses, with a steady day Friday for those businesses that could open, he said.

The retail area usually benefitted from about a third of cruise ship passengers so the two ships on Saturday and another on Monday would have boosted visitor numbers, Mr Melgren said.

He expected this year to be a better trading year than last because the weather was a lot better.

Mount Maunganui was a tourist destination and he believed a lot of people from Auckland had made the trip down for the weekend, with queues on the southern motorway for hours on Friday night.

Jazz Festival director Becks Chambers said the whole organising team was very happy with how the weekend went and expected the bars on The Strand had a very good weekend.

She was especially impressed by the standard of musicians this year and had received a lot of good feedback about the concerts.

The set up of the Jazz Village yesterday was a different and new layout for listening to music but she said everyone had a great time and thought about 6000 people attended last night.