Nelson-Tasman tourism continuing to grow

Apple Tree Bay in the Abel Tasman National Park.

" Recent summer statistics released by Nelson Tasman Tourism show strong growth in the region.

In December the total guests overnight increased by 7.7 per cent from the previous year, exceeding the national average of 4.7 per cent.

International overnight guests staying went up by 7.4 per cent, surpassing the national average growth by 6.2 per cent, while domestic guests increased by 7.9 per cent compared to national domestic growth of 3.8 per cent.

Nelson Tasman Tourism chief executive Lynda Keene said the statistics were encouraging.

"The fact we are exceeding national levels of growth at year-end December and the month of December is a good indicator of some of the region's successful marketing activities," she said.

The increase in airline competition at Nelson airport was also attributed to the boost in tourists to the region.

"Without a doubt, a key factor that has contributed to visitor growth has been Air New Zealand's increased marketing activities and the launch of new airline services; Originair, Kiwi Regional Airlines (KRA) and Jetstar." Keene said.

Originair began flying in August, KRA in October and Jetstar in December of last year.

"The region has received significant additional exposure by airlines with promoting Nelson as a new destination and we'll continue to work with them (airlines) to ensure the early growth trends with increased passengers will continue over the next twelve months," she said.

Official guest statistics for January and February won't be available for a few weeks but Keene said "on-the-ground indicators" from over the region seem to portray a successful couple of months.

The overall result is that yes, it is busier than last year," she said.

 - Stuff