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Another hotel for Christchurch as accom urges short-stay curbs

Hilton has announced a major new Tapestry Collection-branded hotel in central Christchurch, the latest in a raft of hotel developments planned for the city.

Known as The Modern, it will be run by Sarin Group and opened in 2021 in the earthquake-affected former Guardian Assurance and Scorpio Books building on Hereford Street.

Tapestry Collection hotels are designed to offer “unique style and vibrant personality” and the Christchurch hotel will feature large art prints by local and national artists.

It joins two other Sarin Group hotels under construction in the city and follows the opening this year of the Novotel Christchurch Airport and Sudima Hotel Christchurch. The Arden is also soon to open and Carter Group have committed to at least three new builds at the Te Pae convention centre, with another hotel touted by Home Estate for Tuam Street.

But according to Stuff, the picture of expansion for Christchurch hoteliers is in contrast to that of the city’s moteliers, who say a proliferation of Airbnbs is forcing operators to close their doors.

Comfort Inn Riccarton owner Bob Pringle urged Christchurch City Council this month to crack down on the unregulated home-share sector or risk more accom businesses going to the wall.

“We have to have these people paying their fair share like the rest of us are,” he told councillors.

According to city council figures, in the year to June Christchurch hosted 3.15 million guest nights in commercial accom and an estimated 1 million guest nights in Airbnb lets.

The number of Christchurch short-stay listings has mushroomed over the past three years, ChristchurchNZ estimates showing the percentage of guest nights taken up by Airbnb, HomeAway and Bookabach guests rose from less than 1 percent to around 27 percent between 2016 and 2019.

While moteliers may be feeling the pinch from Airbnb-style lettings, Hospitality NZ Canterbury branch president Peter Morrison says the city’s new hotels should also be wary.

Morrison urged the council to act quickly on regulation, saying he would not recommend going ahead with the new convention centre hotels while there was so much leakage from traditional accom to the short-stay sector.

“We have no issue with the odd family renting out a room, as that is part of kiwi hospitality, we do however have an issue with full-time Airbnb operators engaging in professional accommodation provision,” he said.

“If you’re going to act like a business then you must be treated by one. The sooner this is fixed the better.”

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Kate Jackson

Kate Jackson is the editor of Accomnews. You can reach her at any time with questions or submissions: editorial@accomnews.co.nz

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