Covid 19 coronavirus: New Zealand holidaymakers flock to Northland, smashing visitor records

Scott Elliffe, manager of the Russell heritage property Pompallier House, said revenue from guided heritage tours, the cafe and gift shop in July 2020 was double that of July 2019.

“It was fantastic, up 100 per cent. That’s the power of the offshore dollar spent locally,” he said.

He had also noted a sharp increase in the number of “treat purchases”. One visitor, for example, had spent $1000 on art prints. That was likely someone who had put money aside for an overseas trip but had decided to spend it on redecorating instead.

“It was great that Kiwis were getting out there and enjoying their own country, and we enjoy hosting them. I pinched myself a couple of times, wondering if the figures were sustainable. Now, with fewer people moving about [due to Covid restrictions], we’ll just have to wait and see.”

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The record-breaking July was not confined to Bay of Islands businesses.

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