Don't be surprised to find Rotorua packed with holiday-makers from Auckland this summer.

Data released by the Fresh Information Company showed in 2013, 424,100 Kiwis headed to Rotorua for their summer getaways.

This included 192,976 Aucklanders while residents from the wider Bay of Plenty were the second largest group of visitors, at 71,219.

Fresh Information managing director Shane Vuletich said this year should be very similar to last summer.


"Domestic tourism is pretty stable over time. There is a pretty well established pattern with people fleeing to the beach and to baches and that is just going to continue, there will be no change in that.

Mr Vuletich said Kiwis should expect busy holiday spots with lots of overseas visitors. "I would expect this summer to be a big one because the economy is quite buoyant. It will be up a little bit from last year, around 3-5 per cent but not radically different. Where there will be a radical change is the level of international visitors ... this summer it will be the strongest ever for overseas visitors which reinforces the domestic tourism feeling.

"The combined effect of domestic and international is going to be quite good for beach areas around New Zealand."

Spending habits change markedly over the summer, Mr Vuletich said, with retail, food and beverage spending declining.

"People aren't spending much on retail when they are on holiday and they generally stock up at a local supermarket on food before heading to the beach and survive on that over their time away.

"The migration to the beach changes people's behaviour quite significantly and the average spend per night away from home is actually lower than other times of the year.

"Most people, they go to the beach and camp or stay in a bach or with friends and family and don't spend that much. They tend to fish for their food or cook sausages on the barbecue and tend not to consume the same way as in the winter time.

Of the 424,100 visitors who were asked to score the region on a scale of 1-10 "how likely are you to recommend Rotorua as a place to visit?" 52 per cent indicated they would recommend it while 30 per cent were neutral.


Rotorua's Tania Tapsell-Bennett said she and her family planned to head to Maketu to "relax".

"We normally spend time fishing, getting pipis and going to the beach to chill out."