Hawke's Bay accommodation has sold out over Christmas as the region's tourism sector reports a "booming" season.

Hastings Motel Association president and Claremonte Motor Lodge owner Julie Smith said the Christmas period was "flat out".

"It seems to be really booming - we are turning people away to Waipukurau and Taupo - wherever we can find accommodation," she said.

"For us it is better than usual and for a lot of others it is also better than usual."


Some bookings were cancelled because of a lack of rental cars in the region.

"There are no rental cars at the moment and other customers are coming in from overseas and borrowing family cars to get around it, which shows you that obviously the tourist trade is up this year."

Napier Motel Association president and Deco City Motor Lodge owner Clinton Green said "every motelier would be smiling".

"There has been nothing available for two or three days and nothing in Taupo and Rotorua," he said.

It was difficult to gauge demand once full but the Christmas period was on par with previous years.

He said there were more overseas customers "and unfortunately they don't understand Hawke's Bay does get very full at Christmas time and they really struggle with that."

Last year there were two cruise ships in Napier over the Christmas period and this year only one. Nonetheless the National Aquarium on Marine Parade saw a 3.6 per cent lift in attendance from December 21 to 30 and nearby Par 2 Minigolf reported a December increase of 17 per cent on December last year.

Wairoa i-Site worker Gail Menzies said it was a busy tourist season, with many visitors from overseas.

"I was on duty on Monday on my own and I had 100 people through - 40 of them were international," she said.

Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas said the tourist sector was "very happy". "I think this is probably the biggest summer we've had. There are a lot of no vacancy signs up and I have never seen so many people freedom camping and using the new facilities down at the waterfront."