Nelson - Tasman tourism is booming this summer. Recent statistics released by Nelson Tasman Tourism show that the total guests staying in December increased by 7.7 per cent from the previous year. The national average was 4.7 per cent.
When distinguishing between international and domestic visitors, the same regional growth is clear. International guests staying in Nelson went up by 7.4 per cent while domestic guests increased by 7.9 per cent - and that is compared to a national domestic growth figure of just 3.8 per cent.
Nelson Tasman Tourism chief executive Lynda Keene said the statistics were encouraging and a good indicator of some of the region's successful marketing activities. She also acknowledged the role that the recent increase in airline competition at Nelson airport had to play in the boost in tourists to the region. "Without a doubt, a key factor that has contributed to visitor growth has been Air New Zealand's increased marketing activities and the launch of new airline services; Originair, Kiwi Regional Airlines (KRA) and Jetstar." Keene said.
The region has received significant additional exposure by airlines promoting Nelson as a new destination and Keene said Nelson Tasman Tourism would continue to work with the airlines to ensure the increase in passengers continued.
While official statistics for January and February's guest nights are not yet available, anecdotally, indicators suggest the growth trend has continued.
The summer tourism boom is having a positive flow-on effect for motels in Nelson like Century Park who are enjoying being kept busy as guests from around New Zealand and the world continue to stream through. And for as long as people continue to be drawn to beautiful weather, beaches, wine and food, Nelson is likely to just keep getting busier.