Accom holds steady, but ‘no growth’ a concern

A leading industry body says accom is holding its own, but continued lack of growth could damage jobs and investment.

New Zealand hotels recorded a solid year in 2019, with the same national occupancy level as 2018, according to Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA).

New statistics from TIA’s 190 member hotels show the average national occupancy level was 79 percent, the same rate as in 2018. The only region to record a small growth (up 2 percent to 69 percent) was Central Park, which covers Taupō, Hawke’s Bay-Te Matau-a-Māui and Gisborne-Tairāwhiti.

Auckland-Tamaki-Makaurau hotels reported a small drop of 1 percent to 82 percent, the lowest occupancy in the city for the last five years. This was partly due to a drop in air crew room nights reflecting a small reduction in air capacity out of Auckland Airport, according to TIA.

“These figures confirm that the recent spectacular growth of our visitor economy has come to an end,” Chief Executive Chris Roberts said.

“Along with flat occupancy, the average hotel rate was slightly down at the national level. No growth in hotel income will eventually impact on employment and reinvestment. The challenge will be compounded by new hotels that are due to open around the country, with more than 1200 new rooms expected to become available in Auckland alone by the end of 2020.”

Across New Zealand, three-star hotels were the only star band to record occupancy growth in 2019.

Some 52 percent of hotel guests were New Zealanders. Among our major visitor markets, New Zealand, USA and UK all increased their share of nights in hotels compared to 2018. China was static while Australia and Japan decreased their share of room nights for the year.

With no new major events scheduled in New Zealand this year, hoteliers are not expecting to see any significant improvement in their bottom line, Mr Roberts says. And while New Zealand will host the America’s Cup and APEC summit in 2021, the impact of these events will be felt less in regional New Zealand.

Roberts argues that following the cancelling of the government’s Commercial Accommodation Monitor, TIA’s monthly hotel statistics are now the best measure available of what is happening in the accom sector.

“TIA is looking forward to an announcement shortly from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment about what is planned to replace the CAM,” he said.

Year ending 31 December 2019 statistics for each TIA Hotel region

Region 2019 occupancy 2018 occupancy No. of rooms
Auckland 82% 83% 9126
Central Park 69% 67% 712
Christchurch 76% 77% 2848
Dunedin 68% 70% 588
Nelson/Marlborough 74% 74% 514
Queenstown 82% 82% 3316
Rotorua 79% 79% 1686
Wellington 79% 79% 3353

Kate Jackson

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

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