Rotorua businesses are still smiling after a bumper Labour Weekend which saw visitor numbers up nearly 10 per cent on the "jam packed" Saturday.

While the sunshine didn't stick around for the whole weekend, locals and visitors certainly had their choices when it came to activities on offer.

The Lake Tarawera Spring Fair and the Okere Falls Beerfest proved to be popular events, as did the Street Rod show in Ngongotaha, which attracted close to 600 people.

Rotorua i-Site manager Graham Brownrigg said he had seen busier long weekends, but Saturday in particular was "jam packed".

Scope Rotorua Cafe owner Dana Symons enjoys a busy Labour Weekend as she looks towards a busier summer. Photo/Ben Fraser
Scope Rotorua Cafe owner Dana Symons enjoys a busy Labour Weekend as she looks towards a busier summer. Photo/Ben Fraser

"The number of visitors on Saturday was up about 8 per cent from last year's, so it was definitely the busiest day of the weekend.

"The Redwoods was certainly one of the more popular destinations as they saw a large number of visitors go through."

Mr Brownrigg said there were high hopes the number of visitors would pick up in the coming months.

"Up until this weekend, the weather in Rotorua has been pretty horrific so we are looking forward to what will, hopefully, be a hot summer.

"We're not so worried about international tourists, as they plan their holidays well in advance. The main question is whether domestic tourists will be out as they are more inclined to stay home if the weather isn't good."

Rotorua Association of Motels chairman Mike Gallagher, owner of Arista Rotorua and Arista Capri, said the city's motels were packed over the weekend.

"Accommodation was definitely in high demand but we didn't have many problems with turning people away. There were rooms available for pretty much everyone.

"I was driving around town on Saturday and there were plenty of people out and lots of activities to do."

He said it would be interesting to see how things went as we moved into the summer months.

"Last year's was an absolute cracker so I'm not sure how this year will compare. Though there's no doubt that the number of visitors will continue to pick up."

Scope Rotorua Cafe owner Dana Symons said her staff were well prepared for Labour Weekend but were still busy serving visitors and locals alike.

"We've been extremely busy from Friday to Sunday, especially at breakfast time.

"Surprisingly the only thing we ran out of were bananas."

She is also excited to see how things pick up in summer.

"If this weekend is any indication of what's to come, we're certainly preparing for busy days once summer comes.

"We were well staffed this weekend and we'll definitely have to keep it that way."

The partially opened Manawa (former City Focus) served as a handy walkway for those crossing through the Hinemoa and Tutanekai intersection, which was previously closed due to construction.

Councillor Karen Hunt, who is at the forefront of the Manawa development, spent her long weekend away but said she heard the new area was well utilised as visitors filled up the city streets.

Manawa is due to be fully opened on Sunday.