It was an action-packed long weekend for Tauranga locals, visitors and accommodation and hospitality providers across the city and region were 'busy as'. Sandra Conchie reports.
The Bay's economy got a multi-million cash injection this Anniversary Weekend after tens of thousands of locals and hordes of visitors took part in an exciting line-up of events.
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Hot sunny weather and a feast of outdoor events kept residents and holidaymakers happy and Tauranga accommodation and hospitality providers have reaped the benefits.
This included Tauranga's biggest two-day event; the annual One Love festival at Tauranga Domain, and the Eastern Region Surf Lifesaving Championships at Mount Maunganui.
One Love promoter Pato Alvarez, from Pato Entertainment, said this year was the fourth time the festival had sold-out, including 2500 tickets sold to people from Australia, Europe, the United States and the Pacific Islands.
About 20,000 New Zealanders and overseas visitors poured into Tauranga's Wharepai Domain.
"We calculated most punters spend around $300, $400 outside One Love between accommodation, taxis, food, retail and more. That's up to $8 million into the local economy," Alvarez said.
Tourism Bay of Plenty's head of destination marketing Kath Low earlier said events such as One Love provided a big boost to the city and had huge economic flow-on effects.
This includes the increased spending on accommodation, hospitality, retail and other tourism activities, she said.
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Also held over the weekend was the Tauranga Chinese New Year at the Historic Village.
A spokeswoman from Mount Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park located at the base of Mauao said their accommodation was fully booked all weekend.
Hospitality New Zealand accommodation sector Bay of Plenty chairman Tony Bullot said by the end of the weekend all the accommodation in Tauranga was booked out.
Bullot said the large majority of that could be attributed to those who attended One Love, the majority of festivalgoers had booked their accommodation six to 12 months ahead.
"It's a great event and great for Tauranga as it keeps people in the city and our local economy benefits and also helps attract more people to want to our wonderful city.
"It was great to have a number of international visitors also attending the festival and accommodation providers were happy," he said.
Bullot, who also owns 850 Cameron Rd Motel, said bookings across the city for the coming week also looked quite busy and he expected accommodation would fill up fast.
Destination Rotorua i-Site manager Graham Brownrigg said the i-Site had lots of visitor enquiries from people also wanting to know how far it was to the beach, he said.
"Quite a few were using Rotorua as a base and once they had visited the Lakes and other popular activities in the area they travelled to Mount Maunganui beach or Maketū beach."