Summer bookings through the roof as tourism bounces back - but there's still a $5 billion hole

Kiwis are doing their bit to bolster the beleaguered New Zealand tourism industry.

Summer bookings are going through the roof, but they're still not enough to catapult the industry out of the woods just yet.

New Zealand in the summer is hot property - even with our borders shut tight to the rest of the world.

Top 10 Holiday Parks chief executive David Ovendale says most people are planning to head to the beach.

Popular destinations like Coromandel and Wanaka are in demand, and other hot spots are selling like hotcakes.

"Raglan in particular is always that beachside destination where people want to go - only 9 percent of homes are left there," Book a Bach's Simone Scoppa said.

Marlborough and Bay of Plenty are also quickly booking out, with record numbers claiming a bed on New Zealand's Great Walks while the baches and summer campsites are being snapped up too.

"December and January - we are ahead of this time last year by a little bit. That reflects a strong domestic market and people's appetite and the reality that we can only travel in New Zealand," Ovendale said.

"Dated search was up by 90 percent on our Book a Bach website which again is this great sign that tourism is starting to come back," Scoppa added.

Before COVID-19, Kiwi holidaymakers made up 60 percent of New Zealand's tourism spending.

On top of that, New Zealanders usually spend $9 billion a year on international travel - and providers are hoping much of that will now funnel into the domestic market.

However Tourism New Zealand says it's not all sunshine and BBQs.

"The reality is for the tourism industry in New Zealand, not having international means this coming summer is going to have about a $5 billion dollar hole in it compared to last year," chief executive Stephen England-Hall said.

"So even with domestic tourism in a good place and Kiwis travelling around the country, it's not going to fill the whole gap."

Queenstown and Rotorua are still relatively empty - a chance to bag a bargain in your backyard this coming summer.