Campgrounds and holiday parks in New Zealand’s 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, Sun Media reported.

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.

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% 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% 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% rise with 25,504 more nights spent – giving it the highest recorded growth nationwide in the year to October 2013.

For the full story, click here.