Hawke’s Bay hotels are running out of room to accommodate a huge influx of visitors attracted to a myriad of crowd-pulling events this week.
Crowds have been flocking to Hastings and Napier this week ahead of a busy holiday weekend, and with the season’s first cruise ship due to dock at Napier Port over the weekend, things are about to get even busier.
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“This weekend marks the start of our summer season so from here on in Hawke’s Bay will be pretty busy,” Hawke’s Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas said.
Things would get even busier on Sunday.
“The first cruise boat – the Majestic Princess arrives on October 21 and it will bring 3500 people into the region.
“The Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival is underway and we have the A&P Show, which is a huge crowd pleaser.
“The first summer concert is at Black Barn this weekend with Shapeshifter and just around the corner is Summer F.A.W.C! as well as Iron Maori – always a sell-out event for the region.
“The wedding season really begins from Labour Weekend and now with so many restaurants being awarded in this year’s Cuisine Awards there will be no shortage of visitors wanting to try so many of our wonderful restaurants.”
Dundas said although accommodation providers still had some beds available, most were “looking pretty full”.
“We always encourage visitors to try the i-SITE for all bookings.”
Neil Barber, owner of the Art Deco Masonic Hotel, said the hotel was already fully booked for Saturday, with just four rooms available for Friday and three left for Sunday.
“Guests range from one night to three- and four-night stays, from various locations.”
Meanwhile, Expressotel was fully booked for the weekend and 83 per cent booked for Friday, he said.
“Labour Weekend traditionally signals the start of the season for Hawke’s Bay and there is a notable upsurge in visitor activity.
“As far as events go, there is a large football tournament over the weekend, the Mustang club has a convention on and of course the A&P Show is on as well.
“Otherwise, being the first long weekend for the best part of five months, people are travelling and town is looking very close to full at 91 per cent, 95 per cent and 95 per cent for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights before dropping to 51 per cent on Monday night.”
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