Accommodation data reveals a struggle for the Bay of Abondance. Photo / NZME
Bay of Plenty hotelier focuses on survival as new data shows the region’s accommodation industry has been hit hard.
The sector is in difficulty because of national blockages, canceled events and the lack of international
tourists have an impact on occupancy rates and overnight stays.
Figures from the accommodation data program run by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show occupancy rates, daily capacity and total overnight stays were the lowest since inception of the data program in June of last year.
The data covers short-term accommodation, including hotels, motels and apartments, backpackers, vacation parks and campgrounds, as well as lodges and boutique accommodations.
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It shows that the occupancy rate almost halved during the year through September, from 38 percent to 19.7 percent. The total number of nights for the month fell almost 58%, from 99,500 to 42,000. This refers to the number of nights booked rather than the number of visitors, so two guests staying three nights would generate six nights of accommodation. ‘guests.
The number of units available, or daily capacity, increased by 5%, from 5,391 in September of last year to 5,673 in September of this year.
Hotel Armitage general manager Nicolas Caffardo said the past 18 months have been some of the most difficult the site has faced.
Caffardo, who worked in Europe during the global financial crisis, said the industry is focused on survival.
âThe current situation is not sustainable. We appreciate the government’s financial support but it is not enough.
âYou can’t run a hotel with 20% occupancy. “
Caffardo said the industry was anxiously awaiting New Zealand’s borders to reopen, but there was anxiety over staff.
“I have seen countless cafes downsizing their operations [because of lack of staff]. “
Caffardo said everyone is trying to stay optimistic.
âWe are preparing as best we can. We know we can bounce back if we stick together.
“If we can do this, we could see great years ahead.”
Pacific Coast Lodge owner Sarah Meadows said international tourism accounts for 75 percent of the lodge’s market.
“We are crying out and need the borders to be opened. It has to happen soon before more hostels have to close their doors.”
Meadows said more hostel closures would have a detrimental effect on the landscape for accommodation providers in New Zealand.
According to information provided by Tourism Bay of Plenty, some major accommodation providers do not contribute data. In addition, about a third of national visitors to the region stay with friends and whÄnau.
Stacey Linton, head of strategy and ideas for Tourism Bay of Plenty, said the average number of daily visitors to the Coastal Bay of Plenty fell by around 10,000 in September from the previous year.
âOur hosting industry has been severely affected by recently canceled events such as the AIMS games. The ongoing closures of Auckland and Waikato, especially during the school holidays, have accentuated the impact.
“We know that the region’s backpacker accommodation is also grappling with the loss of the international visitor market.”
Linton said Auckland and Waikato were the Bay of Plenty’s two largest visitor markets and accounted for 58% of visitor spending in September of last year.
“It has been a difficult time for tourism operators in the region with the persistent domestic travel restrictions associated with the closure of international borders.”
Amapola Generosa, head of tourism, evidence and knowledge at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, said the main factors contributing to the results were related to Covid-19 and alert level settings .
âIn particular, very restricted travel to and within Auckland, and areas near Auckland (like Rotorua) missed their main source of visitors. cancellations of bookings made in August; and general reluctance to travel due to uncertainty over reimposition of restrictions. “
Generosa said the latest data on e-card tourism transactions showed national tourism spending fell 44% in the year through September.
“Although this is a significant drop, it shows that accommodation has probably been hit more than other tourism industries.”
The changes in the average number of units per establishment and the average number of guests per unit were marginal, but the average number of nights spent per guest declined from three to 2.8 nights.
Priority One chief executive Nigel Tutt said the accommodation industry had been heavily affected by the lockdowns during the period.
“While we know that it is difficult for some businesses related to tourism and accommodation, we do not expect it to have much effect on the whole economy as it is about ‘a relatively small area. “
Tutt said that a positive side effect of the situation was that some units could move to the rental market.
Tauranga MP Simon Bridges said the figures showed the negative impact of the closures on local tourism and accommodation providers.
“The answer is to get out of the lockdown and end the MIQ for double vaccines so that more local and international visitors can experience all that Tauranga has to offer.”
Waiariki-based Labor MP Tamati Coffey said the figures reflected “long-term challenges”.
“The suite of data research from which they come allows us to accurately monitor the true cost to our sometimes too modest business owners and to base future announcements on facts as we ultimately move from immunization to securing. the takeover of New Zealand. “
Coffey said vaccination was the way to improve the struggling accommodation industry.
“Getting the vaccine not only reduces the risk of Delta in your whÄnau, but saves jobs.”
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