More visitors have been soaking up the sun and hospitality in the Bay of Plenty, new statistics show.

There was a 7.8 per cent increase in people staying overnight in the Bay of Plenty during December compared to the same time a year earlier.

Statistics New Zealand figures showed there were about 381,000 overnight stays in local hotels, motels, backpackers and holiday parks in December just gone.

The latest monthly accommodation survey found North Island guest nights were up 5.1 per cent on the same time a year ago.


Tauranga Campervan & Motor Home Park owner Kerri Kearvell said the people choosing her accommodation were loyal and often return callers.

Read more: Winning $7.1m Lotto Powerball ticket is still not claimed by lucky punter

"The influx has been massive. We're getting a lot of repeat customers which has been great. A lot of young international visitors stay with us too."

The park owner also said the hot summer weather was encouraging people to spend more time in campervan parks in the region.

The accommodation survey collected data for guests staying in the four main accommodation types around New Zealand each month. A guest night referred to one guest spending one night in an establishment.

National guest nights for December 2015 were 6.2 per cent higher than in December 2014, Statistics New Zealand said.

"Guest nights in December were higher in both main islands, compared with December 2014," business indicators manager Neil Kelly said.

"Rises were also recorded for domestic guest nights, international guest nights, and guest nights for all four accommodation types."

For December 2015, compared with December 2014, North Island guest nights were up 5.1 per cent, and South Island guest nights were up 7.6 per cent. Domestic guest nights were up 6.3 per cent, and international guest nights were up 6 per cent. Guest nights in the Bay of Plenty for December were up 27 nights on December the year before.

"Tourism in the Bay is in great shape and there is a real flow-on effect to the rest of the local economy," said Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller. "As well as accommodation providers, extra guest nights benefit many local businesses including food outlets and retail.

"In our local area, I have seen the positive impact of tourism growth. Our community is buzzing with people from every walk of life who have come to visit our region. We have so much to offer here and it's great to see the growth in tourism to the region as more people realise that.

"Tourism is supporting jobs both locally and around the country."