A heartwarming moment ended a heartbreaking week for one Rotorua motel.
RotoVegas Motel owners Bryce Smart and Natalee Hampson received an "anonymous booking" yesterday.
"In the first email they said 'I won't be coming to stay but please charge my card. I hope this is not a problem otherwise I will pop in to pay you'," they said.
At first, the couple thought the writer was booking "a few nights" for a friend or a loved one.
"But they said: 'No, I want you to charge my card. That's a gift to you because I understand you are going through hard times'."
The couple have no idea who the person was but said the gesture was "a beautiful thing".
Their bookings had dropped "99 per cent" since the Covid-19 pandemic hit New Zealand.
"Everything that was booked, is gone, pretty much."
Smart said in the Global Financial Crisis, the large numbers stopped but bookings for school sports and marathons continued on the weekends, which helped motels survive.
"Since the Rotorua case was announced, we have had a lot of domestic bookings cancelled."
Smart hoped they weren't the only ones experiencing moments of relief.
"All I want is to see this virus gone and at least get domestic tourism going again ... I would rather - while we have the Government money to support staff - see for six to eight weeks everyone bunker down to identify and stop the virus.
"I would rather not have the tourists for now, because as long as the virus is around, people won't want to travel."
"The sad part is we do our jobs because we love the guests that we have - interacting with them, getting to know them, and showing them what a great city we've got," he said.