1492398756412 - Sweet and sour Easter weekend for business owners

Sweet and sour Easter weekend for business owners

It was a mixed bag for holiday hotspots during the long weekend.

Some areas were treated with the sweet reward of Easter travellers making a break during the four days off, while other areas weren’t as lucky.

Travellers were warned to stay away from Coromandel on Thursday as the ex-tropical storm tracked towards the region, forcing some holiday makers to abandon their plans and cancel their bookings.

Motelier Sam Steed said about 50 per cent of his bookings cancelled after news of Cyclone Cook warned holidaymakers away from the peninsula.

Despite the storm only skirting the Coromandel on Thursday, and largely sunny weather throughout the long weekend, many holidaymakers called off the whole weekend’s bookings.

The weather, or potential weather, on Thursday and Friday has left them thousands of dollars short, he said.

“We didn’t fill up, which is a bit disappointing, but we did get a few extra ones come through.”

His Albert St motel was largely empty on Saturday, though a few extra bookings meant they were half full on Sunday and Monday.

Rochelle Mackwood, who owns Oliver’s Bakery in Whangamata, said the town had been a lot quieter than previous years. 

Friday was their worst day of trade, they were down about 110 customers compared to previous years, she said. 

The weather had been beautiful and the surf had been amazing but still punters had stayed away, she said. 

“Everyone was told to change their plans, cancel their plans and a lot of people did. It’s had a massive impact on our town.”

However, Tauranga and Mount Maunganui managed to make it through the storm to end the weekend on a high. 

The wild weather heading into the long weekend may have delayed visitors heading to the Western Bay of Plenty but numbers were still up by Monday, Tourism Bay of Plenty head of marketing Kath Low said.

Low said it had been a good trading weekend for the holiday hot-spots.

“It was slightly affected by the cyclone warnings, I think people delayed their travels by a day.

“Their stays haven’t been as long as those initially intending of coming on the Friday haven’t been able to come but they’ve come on the Saturday instead.

She said a combination of the weather tidying itself up and organised events going ahead contributed to the tourism boost.

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