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Kiwis leaving their holiday bookings till ‘last-minute’

Many New Zealanders are delaying their domestic holiday arrangements and accommodation bookings.

However, they risk missing out in an increasingly desperate last-minute rush, says one accommodation provider.

"Holiday home-owners in the Far North would have expected their short-term rentals to be booked out for the April school holidays by now, but many still have some or even complete availability," the Coopers Beach bach owner.

"That’s unusual when the school holidays are only a fortnight or so away."

Industry observers say Aucklanders, in particular, seem to be in no hurry to book their holidays. This is due to being somewhat gun-shy after four Covid-19 lockdowns in the past 12 months, and an ongoing perception that accommodation will be easy to secure with almost no international tourists here.

"We’re encouraging people to book now to avoid disappointment. That’s because people who rent their baches out are increasingly reporting a last-minute rush as most holidaymakers hold back and then all try diving in together," he says.

Another Coopers Beach accommodation provider says the Far North is expecting strong domestic visitor numbers during the autumn and winter months as Pacific and Australian holidays remain out of reach for most.

"The winterless North is appealing to a whole lot more since COVID-19. It’s within half a day’s easy drive of Auckland and is generally warmer than anywhere else. Throw in the scenery, history, and world-famous hospitality and the region is set to be another big hit for Kiwis in the coming months," she says.

One example of unusual availability is a spacious holiday house in Coopers Beach which enjoys good occupancy and reviews year-round, yet remains still available to rent after Easter and through the April school holidays and into May from $180 per night.

"Here you have a fabulous property which is central, surrounded by decks with a commanding outlook, that’s still available for the April school holidays! It will definitely be rented out soon, but like everywhere, it’s part of this latest last-minute phenomenon," she says.

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