Rotorua tourism operators experiencing record booking spikes with Easter, Anzac Day, school holiday rush

New Zealand tourism operators are experiencing record spikes in bookings, with this weekend expected to be one of the busiest of the year.

It comes as Easter, Anzac day and school holidays coincide for an unusually busy April, which has been dubbed a 'bonus summer'.

"This is a perfect storm for us and as a traditional tourist town we are just amazed at the number of people heading our way," said Steve Chadwick, Rotorua's Mayor.

Friday marks the start of an unusual, but very welcome, busy two week period for tourism operators.

Traffic streamed into Rotorua and splintered off to the more than one hundred tourist hot spots around town.

The Polynesian Spas are already recording a 10 percent increase in bookings over the next week and a half - the equivalent of 1000-2000 extra people per day.

"It's a big increase for us being an established business. We get a steady flow of traffic during holidays but this year it seems to be off the charts," said Richard Allen from Polynesian Spa.

"People spending their money in New Zealand is always good."

Down the road at Canopy Tours, the boost to business has been astronomical.

"In March, we had 42 percent higher bookings than we had previously, but then once we have got into April, we're at 68 percent higher than we were last year," said Paul Button from Canopy Tours.

"Middle of last year we started to look at it and started to get excited."

It's also exiting because, at the time, petrol prices were starting to impact the number of Kiwis who could afford to explore their own backyards.

In Rotorua, domestic tourism is worth around $460 million each year. Nationwide it's $23 billion and most of that made over the busy summer months.

This two week period has quickly become a bonus summer for tourism operators.

"It's a really big deal in terms of bringing people through and making sure we can pay the bills as we go into winter time," said Button.

It's also been helped by the Rotorua Council's decision to lift retail regulations over Easter trading.

"With the number of visitors, they want to have something to do and retail is part of it, we've accepted it, and embraced it," said Chadwick.