23 Nov 2008

Overseas yachts sail into into Northland, defying downturn

12:50 pm on 23 November 2008

The number of overseas yachts booking into Whangarei marinas is up this year, despite a downward trend in tourist numbers nationwide.

About 400 boats spend summer in New Zealand, based at ports from Opua to Tauranga, as their owners dodge the cyclone season in the tropics.

There has been some concern the international recession might affect the annual migration and the $12m it puts into the Northland economy.

However, Town Basin marina manager Brian Caulton says berth bookings are up on last year, and the yachts are arriving 'thick and fast'.

Whangarei marine businesses will hold their annual welcome-back party this week.