Accommodation boost claim disputed
March this year was 92 per cent, compared to 83 per cent in March last year, didn’t think Easter played too much of a part in this.
‘‘No matter what we would have been fully booked,’’ she said. ‘‘I noticed it just because you think it should be starting to get quiet.’’
Shaw was ‘‘shocked’’ at how many tourists were still on the road in April, adding that period had also been exceptionally busy for the park, with occupancy rates up seven per cent compared to April last year.
In the Waimate District, Glenavy’s Waitaki River Motor Camp owner Anne Lomas also said it wasn’t just Easter that contributed to a busy March, but the Ed Sheeran concerts taking place in Dunedin.
‘‘We didn’t really get any holidaymakers in March because the park was filled with people going to the concert.
‘‘We had an extremely busy March but I think April was about the same as last year.’’
Timaru Top 10 Holiday Park owner Gordon Collister said Easter is always a ‘‘mixed blessing’’ depending on which month it falls in. However, he said with Timaru not being a first-choice holiday destination for people, the park is generally reliant on there being events taking place.
He said the Oceania Speed Skating Championships being held during Easter lifted the parks occupancy to 4250 in March, compared to 3465 in March last year.
‘‘We were also up eight or nine per cent in April,’’ he said.
‘‘March was looking pretty smart anyway with a number of events taking place.
‘‘We’re pretty dependant on what events are taking place at certain Timaru Top 10 Holiday Park owner Gordon Collister times,’’ he said.
A Temuka Holiday Park spokesman also said they would have been busy anyway, regardless of an early Easter.
‘‘I don’t think Easter made a hell of a lot of difference.
‘‘We were just as busy as we would have been last Easter and the Easter before that.’’
Hospitality Association South Canterbury accommodation sector chairman and Avenue Motor Lodge owner Mark Offen said there was events on nearly every weekend in March, and agreed accommodation providers in South Canterbury would have been busy regardless.
He said the Rock and Hop and the South Island Secondary School’s Athletics were events that contributed to a busy March in Timaru, and events like Maadi Cup Rowing contributed to a busy March in Twizel.
‘‘We were going to be busy anyway because of the events that were attracted to town in March,’’ he said.
‘‘Those events made it a good time for accommodation providers throughout South Canterbury.’’