Festive season a bright spot

People appeared to ''put their difficulties aside'' and seek ''some relief with a holiday'' over the Christmas and New Year period, Queenstown Lakes District Council holiday park manager Greg Hartshorne says in a report.

In his manager's half-year report to the council, to be presented tomorrow at the finance and corporate committee meeting, Mr Hartshorne said trading has continued to be tough, with the number of overseas visitors down on previous years.

The exception was the festive period.

''It was unfortunate that the weather over the busiest period was the worst for many years which not so much drove people home, but deterred them from coming,'' Mr Hartshorne said in the report.

He maintained New Zealand and Queenstown would continue to be a ''first-choice destination'' but wrote globally the situation was still difficult.

''The market continues to reflect what is happening offshore and although we have continual increases in the Asian market, and relatively strong numbers from the Australian market, globally things are still slow.''

With the loss of the Queenstown Recreation Ground as a campground during the peak period, he said he believed the lost income at the Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park ''just moved parks'' to Arrowtown.