Wed, Jan 12, 2022 6:32 AM

Visitors hit region

Air NZ expect to bring almost 90,000 visitors to the region over the summer holiday period. Photo: Supplied.

Guest

Nelson will see 88,000 visitors over the summer holiday season but some accommodation providers are still concerned over another slower summer.

Air New Zealand expects to fly the almost 90,000 customers on 2700 flights to the region between 15 December 2021 and 31 January 2022.

“We're excited to help connect Kiwis with their friends and whānau this summer,” chief customer and sales operator Leanne Geraghty says.

These numbers underscore Air New Zealand’s busy summer as they expect to fly more than 915,000 customers across the country over the same period.

While Leanne says the domestic visitors are providing a “welcome boost for Nelson tourism and accommodation providers”, local businesses in the industry are still feeling the lack of international visitors.

David Pattinson, chief executive of Tahuna Beach Kiwi Holiday Park and Motel, says that “so far it’s been a good summer,” not far behind their record-breaking summer season last year.

Though the Holiday Park hasn’t been seeing many guests from the North Island, Kiwis from the South have been making use of their newly installed playground equipment which has been a hit with the kids “and some of the adults too…. Lots of good vibes this summer.”

Nick Crocker, general manager at the Cable Bay Adventure Park, said that while this summer was not quite as busy as the previous one he was still “really happy” with the number of guests coming through the Park.

Having brought on more staff recently, Nick hopes the summer crowds continue through until the end of the season.

However, Beachcomber Hotel in Tāhunanui has found that while they’ve been full over the Christmas-New Year’s period, the number of forward bookings is looking “less strong” for the next few weeks when compared to previous years.

Manager Chris Roden says that while Nelson still had many travellers, their numbers weren’t getting bolstered by visitors from overseas who traditionally keep regional accommodations busy through late January and into February.

Hotel Nelson manager Gagan Rishi echoed similar concerns.

He says that while the end of December and first week of January had seen a good number of guests, their forecast for the rest of the summer was looking less certain with “fluctuating” numbers in the upcoming weeks.\

By Max Frethey