Accommodation providers are not holding out much hope for a bumper school holiday trade despite some Aucklanders still hanging on to their bookings in the hope they may be able to head off from next Wednesday.
With the Government not announcing any changes to alert levels until next Monday - the first day of the school holidays- Aucklanders have been lift in limbo about whether they may still be able to escape to the beach or snow for at least some of it.
Holiday home website Bachcare's cancellations went through the roof - up 281 per cent on the weekly average following last week's announcement that Auckland would remain in level 3 for two weeks.
But the majority of those cancellations, 76 per cent, were for departures before next Wednesday showing Aucklanders are still keen to get away if the city moves to level 2 next week.
Bachcare spokesperson Zaina Razzaq said there had also been a decrease in bookings from Aucklanders for both the October and summer school holidays.
Coromandel, Taupo, Mt Ruapehu and Queenstown were the areas which saw the biggest numbers of cancellations.
Bookabach travel expert Simone Scoppa said the holiday home website had seen a significant impact to school holiday bookings with all bookings from Auckland travellers either cancelled or rebooked for a later date.
Scoppa said missing the school holidays business from Auckland travellers had been tough especially for owners with holiday homes in Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Auckland.
Would-be holiday goers instead appeared to be focussing on the summer holidays with Book a Bach reporting a 39 per cent spike in bookings for Christmas week and through to the end of Summer.
Hotel Council Aotearoa strategic director James Doolan said feedback from members was Aucklanders were reluctant to book anywhere yet and as a result hoteliers weren't holding out much hope for the school holidays.
There were very few forward bookings from any Aucklanders, he said.
"When the lockdowns happen people tend to cancel the forward booking because of the uncertainty and our experience has shown us you might expect to get back 50 per cent of those bookings once things reopen."
With each lockdown people were getting more and more risk adverse about re booking in case they were put back into lockdown.
"I think if you phoned 10 hotels, you would have your head bitten off for the booking at each and everyone."
"Auckland outbound travel - put a ring around that and it effects everywhere. And that effects even the kinds of markets that have done okay during covid and without the international travel because Aucklanders have gone there instead."
The popular Lake Taupo Holiday Resort posted on Facebook yesterday that it had "rare availability" for this weekend since the "Aucklanders can't come out to play yet".
Destination Great Lake Taupo general manager Jane Wilson said Auckland was the region's biggest domestic source market and made up to 50 per cent of bookings for some of its accommodation sector.
The biggest frustration and challenge for operators was the uncertainty around when Auckland would move alert levels and what they would look like which translated into booking hesitancy.
Cancellation of events had in some cases hit accommodation providers even harder than the school holidays leaving some with significant last minute cancellations, she said.
Auckland tourist attractions gearing up for the school holidays
Auckland Zoo, Auckland War Memorial Museum and Kelly Tarlton's are all getting ready to open their doors in level 2.
All three operators told the Herald they would be opening under level 2 guidelines with mandatory masks, QR scanning and social distancing required.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira would also being opening up the Museum's galleries including the international Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Ocean Predators exhibition under level 2.
The museum will be managing capacity and adhering to strict hygiene precautions and physical distancing of at least two metres between visitors not known to each other to ensure everyone's health and wellbeing.
"After a long period of closure due to Level 4 and 3 lockdowns, we look forward to welcoming Aucklanders and visitors to the city back into the Museum," Auckland Museum chief executive Dr David Gaimster said.
Due to being in confined spaces, the Holocaust Gallery and the volcano house remain closed.
School visits, public programmes and onsite events are also cancelled until the city moves to level 1.
Motat will be offering visitors half-price entry during the school holiday under level 2. Some smaller spaces won't be open and the trams won't be running due to social distancing rules.
Auckland Zoo director Kevin Buley said if Auckland moved to level 2 on Wednesday it would reopen from Thursday with specific Delta Level 2 Government regulations and Zoo protocols in place.
The zoo's Loyal Annual Members will have the first opportunity to come back and visit from Thursday 7 October to Sunday 10 October before the zoo re-opens to general visitors on Monday 11 October.
Some indoor areas will be closed and there will be no keeper talks at level 2 in order to help ensure visitors maintain physical distance between their bubbles.
Kelly Tarlton's is also aiming to re-open in level 2 with a range of health and safety measures in place including reducing its daily ticket capacity to allow for social distancing.
Both the museum and zoo will be cashless and the water fountains will be closed, while visitors to the zoo and Kelly Tarlton's must pre-book online via the website.