Just over half a million people flocked to its beaches between December and February, putting it ahead of Auckland (376,000 visitors) and the Coromandel Peninsula (353,000).
Aucklanders flocking north to hit the beaches after Christmas made up the vast majority of Northland’s annual summer tourism boom and more than half of the region’s 1.5 million visitor nights were in January, 80 % of holidaymakers starting in Auckland, according to the survey.
In the South Island, Canterbury, excluding Christchurch, was the busiest holiday destination with 329,500 visitors and Nelson followed with 204,600 in the three months to the end of February.
On average, visitors stayed one day longer in the Nelson area compared to Canterbury.
The AA’s Traveler Monitor Survey has analyzed more than 25,000 responses since July last year.
He found that if more people go on vacation during the summer, they tend to spend less.
“What these numbers show is that we have significant visitor capacity during the summer, which is largely underutilized the rest of the year,” said Peter Moxon, the AA club’s general manager of operations, explained that Christmas and the long summer days are when Kiwis traditionally go to their favorite vacation spots. “What this offers is an opportunity for regional tourism organisations, tourism operators and other industry players to work together to encourage more Kiwis to start traveling during off-peak times when it is there is enough capacity to accommodate them.”
During the three-month summer period, domestic overnight visitors spent $2.68 billion, nearly $500 million more than the previous three months.
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