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Hotel Council Supports Auckland Wharf Development

25 February 2008

New Zealand Hotel Council Supports Auckland Wharf Development

The New Zealand Hotel Council is speaking out in support of developing Auckland's Queen's Wharf to maximise the benefits of such a strategic piece of land.

Jim Moore, NZHC's Auckland Regional Chair, says that any efforts to improve the city's waterfront by making it more attractive and accessible will enhance the CBD and make Auckland a more desirable destination for tourists.

Mr Moore is also the General Manager of one of Auckland's iconic hotels Mercure Hotel Auckland, part of the Accor group of hotels and resorts, which sits on Customs Street East overlooking the harbour.

"Cruise business has become an increasingly important sector for Auckland and a positive and fulfilling experience in Auckland translates to return visits and positive recommendations to friends, families and businesses.

"Many cruise passengers embark and disembark in Auckland and stay additional nights in hotels. We strongly believe that guests perceptions of our country lie in the experience they have while in port in Auckland and therefore it is vital that the CBD is an area that we can all be proud of. To achieve this there needs to be investment in the infrastructure used to manage the numbers both now and in the future"

"The development of the waterfront area will benefit everyone – residents, domestic and international tourists and of course Auckland's reputation and, most importantly, its economy. We have a beautiful harbour and we need to maximise the benefits of such a significant area.

Mr Moore says that often many or all hotels are fully booked when cruise ships are in town - passengers are often willing and able to pay more than some other visitors to Auckland and therefore are good business for Auckland hotels and for the local area where they spend money in restaurants, on transport, in retail shops and on services.

Cruise passengers go on to spend money in the CBD and will often also travel to other parts of the country. With the greater number of passengers now staying in the CBD, creating a more lively and eclectic waterfront will encourage further investment into shops and facilities. The money being put into the economy from these passengers is fundamentally beneficial for the tourism industry as a whole, and therefore to all New Zealanders.

"The worldwide trend is that cruise ships are getting larger and therefore our facilities need to develop accordingly to be able to accommodate them. The New Zealand Hotel Council supports these improvements and believes the investment into the region is worthwhile and absolutely necessary to maintain the levels of business achieved this season and to grow this in the future."

New Zealand Hotel Council

New Zealand Hotel Council is an Incorporated Society whose members include the international chain, and independent hotels throughout the country.

The Council is actively engaged in activities that provide tangible benefit and leadership to its members.

NZHC's members have well over three billion dollars invested in properties and plant. They are responsible for over 12,000 employees around the country and are committed to being actively involved in the ongoing development and success of the tourism industry throughout New Zealand.

With a Wellington-based Chief Executive Officer, the Council has a national executive board that includes representatives from the major hotel chains and member-elected regional Chairs.

Accor, the European leader and a major global group in hotels, the global leader in services to corporate clients and public institutions, operates in nearly 100 countries with 170,000 employees. It offers to its clients over 40 years of expertise in its two core businesses: - Hotels, with the Sofitel, Pullman, Novotel, Mercure, Suitehotel, Ibis, all seasons, Etap Hotel, Formule 1 and Motel 6 brands, representing more than 4,000 hotels and nearly 500,000 rooms in 90 countries, as well as strategically related activities, such as Lenôtre. - Services, with 30 million people in 40 countries benefiting from Accor Services products in human resources, marketing services and expense management.

ENDS

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