Oamaru ‘best value’ SI stop

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Oamaru has done it again.

The town has been ranked top in the South Island in the best value destinations released by Trivago, the world’s top hotel price comparison website.

Oamaru was fourth on the nationwide list of top 20 destinations, behind Whakatane, Coromandel Town and New Plymouth.

This comes after the town was named New Zealand’s coolest town in the Lonely Planet Guide in October 2014.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said it was fantastic for the town to feature on something like this.

“We’re really, really pleased to see that the town has made this list. It’s fantastic from our point of view and shows a lot of things are going right for the town.”

Mr Kircher said it was a credit to the businesses in the area for making things so reasonably priced.

“Accommodation providers know we have so much on our doorstep and with cheaper prices they are likely to attract people here and it’s incredibly pleasing to see just how high we rank amongst the rest of the country,” he said.

“Getting people to visit the town is something we work hard to do and by accommodation providers providing quality priced accommodation it only means good things.”

Oamaru’s range of accommodation was something that helped it rank highly, Mr Kircher said.

“We have a wide range of accommodation facilities here in Oamaru. They’re pretty well priced and we can cater to all types of people.”

Mr Kircher said prices may rise in the future but for now Oamaru was ranking well.

“It’s like everything, prices may have to rise eventually, but for now we’re happy with where they sit.”

Tourism Waitaki marketing manager Ian Elliott said this ranking was a reflection of the whole district, not just Oamaru.

“It shows just how popular we are now becoming down here. More and more people are wanting to come here.”

Mr Elliott said the number of tourist attractions in the area helped with prices being competitive.

“We want the town’s accommodation to be as affordable as possible and we feel it is certainly well priced, and people are staying longer.”

He said it was a true reflection of the way the town was going.

The results from Trivago were compiled over 120 million different views from tourists.

Oamaru beat the likes of Nelson, Paihia, Tauranga, Blenheim, Napier, Hamner Springs, Picton, Kaikoura, Wanaka and Christchurch. Queenstown, the South Island’s main tourist centre, was not on Trivago’s top 10 list for the South Island or New Zealand.

By Brayden Lindsay