Bay campgrounds booking out

Campgrounds and holiday parks in the Bay of Plenty are gearing up for large visitor numbers to the region, following stable growth in guest nights for the year to October 2013.

With reports of an untraditional rise in bookings before Christmas, thanks to a streak of good weather, many holiday accommodation facility managers feel they’re in for a booked out summer holiday season.

Waihi Beach TOP 10 Holiday Resort owner Ian Smith says traditionally, his facility enjoys a full campground after Christmas.

“[But] we have seen a lift before Christmas [this year] – everyone is making the most of the nice weather.”

At Cosy Corner Holiday Park, owner Greg Davidson says repeat customers are responsible for more than 90 per cent of bookings, with a predominate migration from the Waikato and Auckland coming to enjoy the beaches and beach holiday atmosphere.

Mount Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park manager Mark Hales supports this, saying more than 90 per cent of his facility’s bookings “are also made up of repeat customers”.

Greg says very few spots at Cosy Corner are left for holiday-goers wanting to book from Boxing Day through to mid-January, with last minute bookings being turned down.

“A lot of people from overseas don’t know you have to book at this time of year, we help them out when we can.”

Figures released by Statistics New Zealand show guest nights in the Bay of Plenty have increased by 2.2 per cent from October 2012 to October 2013 – resulting in an extra 21,673 nights spent by visitors in the region.

In the same period, the Whakatane-Kawerau region experienced a 14.4 per cent rise with 25,504 more nights spent – giving it the highest recorded growth nationwide in the year to October 2013.

Tourism Bay of Plenty General Manager Rhys Arrowsmith says it’s promising to see guests are spending more time in the region, as well as holidaying in the Whakatane-Kawerau area.

“With the domestic marketing campaign now in full swing, we are confident this will have a positive impact on these figures – and we expect this year to be one of the best yet.

“We have seen some good growth since September this year, and we predict this trend to continue through to April.”

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