Vis­i­tors stay and play in sum­mer

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE -

‘‘North Palmer­ston’’ a tourist trap?

Well, ac­cord­ing to an AA Trav­eller re­search report, this could be so.

Ad­mit­tedly, the fig­ures cover the wider Manawatu-W(h)an­ganui’ - but ap­par­ently, the city has its fair share of Auck­lan­ders and Welling­to­ni­ans com­ing to stay and play over sum­mer.

These made up the largest num­ber of do­mes­tic vis­i­tors to the re­gion last sum­mer, col­lec­tively spend­ing more than 302,700 vis­i­tor nights from De­cem­ber 2014 to Jan­uary 2015.

AA Trav­eller’s Jodie Fitzger­ald says the num­bers give a good in­di­ca­tion of the wider re­gion as a pre­ferred sum­mer hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion.

She sug­gests that with a long hot sum­mer fore­cast, hol­i­day ac­com­mo­da­tion across the re­gion could be at a pre­mium - es­pe­cially as many of the AA’s 1.4 mil­lion mem­bers in­di­cate a pref­er­ence for steer­ing clear of crowds and want ac­com­mo­da­tion in less pop­u­lated places.

69 per cent of the sur­vey’s re­spon­dents listed great scenery as a key in­gre­di­ent to a ‘week­end get­away’, with 52 per cent look­ing for great food, and 45 per cent hop­ing to ‘get away from the crowd’.

But where do he tan­gata from Manawatu-Wan­ganui pre­fer to go when the Auck­lan­ders move in? Taranaki. Ap­par­ently, us guys spent 114,500 vis­i­tor nights in the ‘Naki from De­cem­ber to Jan­uary last sum­mer. Welling­ton is only the sec­ond most pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion at 104,100 vis­i­tor nights.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH /FAIR­FAX NZ

Auck­lan­ders and Welling­to­ni­ans make up the bulk of our sum­mer tourist trade.

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