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Rotorua hotels say an increase in accommodation bookings since the country entered alert level 2 has come as a relief.

However, the association, which represents the majority of moteliers in the city, says while bookings were looking good, accommodation providers were not getting excited just yet.

Princes Gate Hotel general manager Yuri Ponstijn said the first weekend in alert level 2 was a "great one".

He said on Friday the hotel was at 65 per cent capacity and 88 per cent on Saturday, with people coming into the restaurant throughout the day.

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"We were hoping for a full house and didn't quite there. But it felt great, it was such a relief."

Ponstijn said upcoming weekends were looking great, with weekdays looking quite a bit slower.

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Pullman Rotorua general manager Richard Bungeroth said the five-star hotel was temporarily closed as a result of Covid-19 but reservations were open for early July 2020

He had noticed some demand in forward-bookings since the move to level 2 and the allowance for domestic travel.

"Domestic tourists will have the unique opportunity to safely enjoy their New Zealand backyard to themselves and also contribute positively to keeping our tourism economy of Rotorua afloat."

Mike Raynes of Asure Palm Court Motor Inn in Glenholme also told the Rotorua Daily Post last week that bookings were looking promising in level 2.

He said some bookings were for the corporate business sector needing somewhere to stay for work, but the majority were Kiwis from all parts of the country.

"A lot of people from Auckland are coming down for the weekend.

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"It is looking good. It has relieved a lot of pressure."

Ian Mexted-Dykes and Maddy Skilton from Activities and Events Unlimited are excited to have secured their first conference for Rotorua in November. Photo / Andrew Warner
Ian Mexted-Dykes and Maddy Skilton from Activities and Events Unlimited are excited to have secured their first conference for Rotorua in November. Photo / Andrew Warner

Rotorua Moteliers Association chairman and owner of the Arista of Rotorua Motel and Capri on Fenton, Mike Gallagher, bookings for next weekend were looking good.

"They are dribbling in but it is nothing fantastic," he said. "I am not getting really excited."

However, Gallagher said it was positive bookings were coming in but the future was still unknown.

"I think there is going to be an initial drive to support those people but in a couple of months time this recession could potentially kick in."

He said the bookings needed to continue and inter-regional travel between Tauranga and Rotorua would be "crucial" to seeing reservations continue.

"That's what is going to help."

Meanwhile, Activities and Events Unlimited owner Ian Mexted-Dykes said they had secured their first conference in Rotorua for November and had another pending.

Mexted-Dykes said the conference was booked for overseas but due to Covid-19, a new venue was needed.

"They wanted to stay in New Zealand and we presented two or three places for them but eventually we were able to convince them to come to Rotorua.

"That for us was really good news. At least it will be a good trend that bigger companies still want to come to Rotorua."

He said the conference was likely to bring about 80 people to the city. Conference venues and casinos are allowed up to 100 people in alert level 2, but every individual or group of 10 must be at least 1 metre apart.