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Busy summer in hotel industry

With more national events held in Gisborne, demand for accommodation saw the city “booked out” many nights over summer.

Alongside buoyant demand was other good news. The latest hotel price index from Hotels.com showed the price per night for international travellers increased by 6 percent in Gisborne from $131 to $139 between 2016 and 2017.

Hotels.com is one of the major websites where travellers can make their bookings online.

The domestic market has kept Gisborne accommodation providers busy. Next month the National Secondary Schools Ki o Rahi Tournament will come to Gisborne, with upwards of 23 teams competing over two days.

Eastland Community Trust has contributed financially to the tournament, with chief executive Gavin Murphy saying the support was an “economic no-brainer”.

“Supporting the event is a win-win.

“The New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships this March brought 1300 athletes, as well as their support crews, to Gisborne. Accommodation city-wide was basically booked solid.”

The national speedway championships in February also meant Gisborne’s accommodation was entirely booked out.

Cedar House has re-opened as a bed and breakfast, with new owners Storme and Caroline Curtis bringing five more rooms into Gisborne’s accommodation pool.

Whispering Sands Beachfront Hotel manager Peter Martin said last summer had been one of the better ones.

“It has gone back to how it used to be.

“Overseas tourists coming into the country are finally coming our way.”

Penny Fitzgerald has been in the industry as the owner of the Highway Motel for 22 years.

The demand for accommodation in Gisborne was definitely there, and people should be quite happy in the hotel industry. This summer had been “better than usual”.

“I wouldn’t say it’s been the best but better than it has been for a while.”

The Hotel Price Index also shows New Zealanders are travelling overseas more.

During February there were 151,100 recorded trips overseas, up 2 percent from February 2017.

The number of trips made to most countries increased.

The largest increases were China — up 18 percent, Fiji?— up 12 percent, United Kingdom — up 11 percent and India — up 11 percent.

New accommodation providers Storme and Caroline Curtis hit the ground running when they re-opened Cedar House as a five-bedroom bed and breakfast last month. The historic home has been a private residence, St Winifred’s Catholic Girls’ School and a restaurant called Pinehurst Manor. The Edwardian mansion was built from native timbers around 1910 at the city end of Clifford Street. Gisborne hit capacity on many nights over summer, with national events like the speedway and surf lifesaving championships filling up all the rooms in town. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell