Taupō welcomes visitors as summer holiday hotspot
It’s been a bumper Christmas and New Year summer break for the Taupō District with bustling events, packed retail stores and cafes, as well as thousands enjoying the AC Baths facilities.
Taupō District Mayor David Trewavas said it was fantastic to roll out the red carpet for domestic tourists over the summer break.
“So many Kiwis were out exploring their own backyard, thanks to those that chose Taupō as their place to explore or relax by the lake. And of course, the locals who had a staycation, enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere in our town and shopped local.”
Towncentre Taupō chairman Ben Westerman said some retailers and hospitality businesses reported positive figures for Christmas and New Year trading.
“There is no doubt that town has been busy over the holiday period. Large numbers of people were moving about town with shopping bags in hand, buying coffees, dining out and having a good look around town.
“Some of the hospitality businesses have recorded a significant lift when compared to the same time 2019, which suggests the domestic tourism has been strong.
“Although official figures have yet to be released, it’s great to hear how busy many places have been. It will be interesting to see if the activity shows an increase in dollars spent at our local businesses.”
Locals and domestic tourists also flocked to the lakefront on New Year’s Eve. District events manager Steve Giles said it was one of the busiest New Year’s Eve celebrations Taupō has seen.
“There was a great atmosphere on the lakefront with people coming out to watch the Big Bang fireworks and enjoy the entertainment to welcome in the New Year. It was incredibly popular with possibly the biggest crowd ever.
“After a year of uncertainty, it was a privilege to be able to come together as a community and celebrate, especially being one of the few places in the world where we’re able to do so,” Mr Giles said.
It’s been all go at Council venues over the summer too, with the AC Baths seeing more than 30,000 visitors in December and the Rockwall recording its busiest holiday period in ten years.
Business and operations manager Scott Attenborough said it’s great to see so many locals and visitors making the most of summer, despite the disruption caused by COVID-19.
“Our teams have been delivering across the district - Turangi Turtle Pools, Mangakino Pool, the Events Centre, Swim School and of course our awesome cleaning staff. I salute them all for making it a great summer!”
People were also generally well behaved with police reporting only 12 arrests over the holiday period.