Published: 12 May 2021
Last Updated: 13 May 2021
Aussies may be winging their way here but it’s Kiwis who have kept tourism flying in Napier through a challenging past year. Where other regions have been grounded, Napier has taken off with Kiwi holiday makers taking full advantage of everything it has to offer.
Kennedy Park Resort, the National Aquarium and Par 2 mini-golf are all tracking towards record years, bouncing back 100% from a turbulent 12 months. Bay Skate too has had a bumper year with the past month seeing more people through the door than ever before, with 40% of visitors coming from out of town. The Faraday Centre experienced its biggest day ever during the recent school holidays with nearly 600 people visiting on one day.
Kirsten Wise, Mayor of Napier City, is thrilled by the local support for Napier’s activities, destinations and recreational facilities. As much as it’s the quality of the experience she’s most interested in, it’s the numbers that count on paper.
“Those records have been made in a year that was 3-months short because we couldn’t operate in the first quarter,” explains Mayor Wise. “And in a year where we haven’t had many of the mainstays of our tourism market.”
As well as a pandemic lockdown and serious flooding, Napier has been hit by the absence of cruise-ships, which have been a significant part of their tourism picture in the past.
“The successes are because of people: the people who work in the facilities giving it their all, and the visitors who have prioritised supporting Napier and what it has to offer,” says Mayor Wise.
Success isn’t just a nice to have, it’s vital as facilities’ revenue helps pay for Napier’s essentials like water, rubbish and roads.
“Having visitors in our city is great for the whole community, there are lots of flow-on effects and it bolsters all of us and keeps our economy buzzing,” says Mayor Wise.
It may be seen as the Art Deco capital but tourists are finding many more reasons to visit. With its perfect climate, public spaces giving respite from the action, family-centric activities, bars, cafes and restaurants of every type, and great places to stay, Napier is proving the full package.
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