Lions tour: Visiting fans a boost for businesses

Lions fans still found reasons to smile on Saturday night after their team went down to the All Blacks in the first test in Auckland.

Now the sea of red will make its way to Wellington, which finally gets its first taste of the tour, and where gleeful businesses are waiting with open arms.

The Lions have been wounded but the travelling supporters aren't losing faith just yet.

There's still plenty to play for, despite the tourists going down 30-15 last night at a sold-out Eden Park.

Bars across Auckland were packed with revellers, some feeling worse for wear on Sunday.

The tour's a boon for the hospitality industry but for some in Mt Eden, that meant being turned away at the door in favour of pre-booked tour groups.

Jamie Williams runs 20 bars in Wellington and he's promised none of that carry-on this week, despite being offered tens of thousands of dollars.

"We've been approached a lot around booking our spaces but we've had a 'no' policy to that," he told Newshub.

"So no, first in first serve - let's fill it up to as many people as possible."

The Lions will set up camp in Wellington for a full week, with the Hurricanes playing the tourists on Tuesday and the second test on Saturday.

The arrival of an expected 25,000 visitors is a welcome boost for the Capital.

"It's been a rough eight months with earthquakes and a really lousy summer, so this is a great opportunity for our industry," Mr Williams said.

Mr Williams predicts his bars will do five times their typical take and has hired an extra 100 staff for the week.

The city's hotels are also completely booked out.

Wellington's accommodation sector has struggled to cope with the influx of fans and it's prompted Wellington Airport to authorise several late night domestic flights to leave straight after the Test match.

Newshub.

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