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The first Matariki celebrations have begun with the launch of a new karakia booklet at the Dark Sky Sanctuary in Takapō.
Coverage resumes on Tuesday.
Holiday Parks New Zealand is encouraging people to make the most of the long weekends ahead to revitalise their summer breaks, as well as local parks and communities.
Queenstown’s hotels performed the best of the country’s major markets over the peak holiday period with occupancy surging and average daily rate hitting $538.66 on New Year’s Eve.
South Island operators bask in the glow of good weather and a strong international rebound over the summer peak.
But some northern tourism businesses have seen good numbers despite the soggy start to 2023.
The lead-up to Christmas and the second weekend of January will be the busiest.
Operators say good weather and the return of cruise contribute to the best customer numbers since Covid began.
Holidaymakers are being called on to avoid peak congestion periods over Labour Weekend and to check travel times before they hit the road.
Marlborough District Council will reopen Queen Charlotte Drive from Picton to Havelock at 5pm this afternoon, after it was severely damaged by a storm in August.
Nelson Tasman hospitality, tourism, events and retail businesses are getting behind a new game encouraging locals and visitors to explore their own backyards.
Auckland Airport is advising people travelling over the October school holidays to be patient as it faces its busiest travel period.
A one-off public holiday to mark the passing of Queen Elizabeth II has been welcomed by Hospitality New Zealand, even though it may come with a cost for operators.
While outdoor attractions outside of ski saw demand impacted, indoor activity iFLY Queenstown saw its busiest month on record.
The school holidays are giving operators a lift but it’s not all smooth sailing during the crucial business period.
The Matariki public holiday could bring in between $110m-$160m in economic benefit to the domestic tourism industry.
Tourism has started its long road to recovery for some with the holidays, the weather and Australians contributing.
Auckland Airport’s international terminal saw its busiest day since the pandemic started two years ago with around 10,000 travellers arriving and departing on Easter Friday.
Queenstown Airport is gearing up for the school holiday period with two busy long weekends expected.
Waka Kotahi and Auckland Transport are urging those heading away this Easter to plan ahead.
Kiwis intend to take a longer holiday break this year, according to a poll by Frog Recruitment.
The 2 October start for the upcoming school holidays will remain unchanged in the event of any drop in alert levels for Auckland, despite the region clocking nearly six weeks of lockdown since mid-August.
The Covid disrupted Australian school holidays provided little boost, say southern operators.
The government has unveiled the proposed dates of the new Matiriki holiday, which starts next year on Friday 24 June 2022.
A year away from Matariki being recognised as a public holiday, a Bookabach survey has recorded a 57% uptick in bookings to celebrate the occasion.
Tourism businesses across the country enjoyed good visitor numbers over Easter with some having to turn people away they were so full.
PM Jacinda Ardern says if she is re-elected the mid-winter holiday will start in 2022.
Green Party tourism spokesperson Gareth Hughes said that as well as increasing cultural awareness, it would provide another day for travel.
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