30 Nov 2012

Bay tourism looking to better summer

10:09 am on 30 November 2012

Tourism operators in Bay of Plenty are cautiously optimistic that business is back to normal after the Rena ran aground more than a year ago.

The region is expecting business to pick up as it heads into its busiest period.

Tourism Bay of Plenty general manager, Rhys Arrowsmith said there were 168,000 fewer visitors to the region in the last 12 months and the $450 million sector had taken a hit.

But, he said, early indications were that the legacy of Rena is not lingering and the feeling now was the region was back on track toward what people would regard as a normal summer.

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Max Mason said initially it seemed only a small number of businesses were affected by the disaster.

But a survey conducted for the Ministry of Social Development had revealed many have felt the pinch.

The Papamoa Beach Top 10 Holiday Resort is among a group of businesses that is to take a class action against the owners of the Rena.

Rebecca Crosby from the resort said visitor numbers for last summer were substantially down.

More on this can be heard on Insight on Sunday.