Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Authentic Japanese tourism venture set to say ‘sayonara'

Remote authentic Japanese tourism venture set to say ‘sayonara’


New Zealand’s most authentic Japanese tourism operation, Maruia SpringsThermal Resort, is on the market for sale.


New Zealand’s most authentic Japanese-themed tourism venture – and home to the most remote ethnic cuisine restaurant in the country – has been placed on the market for sale.

The Maruia Springs Thermal Resort - mid-way between Christchurch and Westport on the Lewis Pass - was developed in its current Japanese bathhouse style in 1991 by a Japanese couple living in Christchurch. The couple wanted to wholly replicate the spa experience of their homeland in the rustic countryside of New Zealand.

The mineral waters at Maruia Springs were first discovered by weary pioneering explorers in the 1880s - with various hotel and public bathing amenities coming and going on the riverbanks over the ensuing 110 years.

Over the past two decades, the business has seen a rise in visitor numbers among the ‘free independent traveler’ sector driving rental vehicles and motor homes. Tourism New Zealand statistics show these visitors are predominantly from North America, Europe, and Australia, with domestic New Zealand holidaymakers also making up a sizeable chunk of the market.

However, after 23 years operating the resort, its Japanese-born owners Akira Matsushita and kimono-wearing Takako Ongino are selling up to return back to their homeland.

The property is being marketed for sale by Bayleys Canterbury tourism and hospitality sales specialist Peter Harris, who said it was interesting to see how the venue’s guest demographics had changed over some 35 years – opening up an opportunity to reinvigorate the property under a new guise.

“While Maruia Springs Thermal Resort has historically traded on its Japanese bath-house theming, the owners fully appreciate that its future may well lie with returning the ambience to be more reflective of its New Zealand surrounds,” Mr Harris said.

“The resort is strategically located in the triangle junction linking Christchurch with the West Coast, and Nelson/Marlborough to the north via Murchison. Visitor numbers from the north in particular have been trending up over the past three years with a parallel rise in eco’ adventure tourism such as white water rafting and most recently the opening up of various cycle tracks,” he said.

“That sort of activity compliments the rural and natural attractions of the hot pools at Maruia.

Being the biggest accommodation provider on the spine of Lewis Pass, the lodge benefits from having a virtually captive market among those seeking somewhere to stay in the latter part of a day’s travel.”

Mr Harris said Maruia Springs Thermal Resort had multiple revenue streams:

• Accommodation onsite features 19 guest rooms in various single and double bed
configurations, with nightly rack rates ranging from $159 - $259

• Food and beverage offerings on the licensed premises ranging from simple café-style breakfasts and lunches, or bar snacks for the take-away market, through to a-la-carte dining in the 45 seat Asian-fusion cuisine restaurant
and

• Various outdoor thermal hot pool, private spa, and Japanese bath-house experiences taking advantage of the natural environment. Pool entry ranges from $10 for children to $22 for adults.

The resort is among the most environmentally-friendly tourism ventures currently operating in New Zealand. Maruia Springs is self-sufficient for its electricity supply – utilising a 140 kilowatt hydro’ power plant to generate power; and a specially-designed sewage purification system means there is minimal waste treatment fed back into holding ponds.

“There is now a well established network of thermal pool resort operators throughout New Zealand – from Kaikohe in the Far North, to Queenstown in the south. Their popularity has been exacerbated by the ability for free independent travelers to make their own way to these destinations, and by the appreciation of their mineral-laden health-promoting qualities,” Mr Harris said.

In keeping with the eco’ theme and Japanese minimalism, none of the guest rooms at Maruia Springs are fitted with TVs, radios or telephone. In addition to the guest rooms and communal dining and drinking areas, the resort also has staff accommodation for up to 12 people, a separate owner’s residence, a staff kitchen and dining room, gymnasium and laundry facilities.

The business employs five full-time staff and 10 part-time staff. In keeping with the venue’s oriental theming, most of the staff are Japanese – with female staff often attired in kimonos and sandals. Menu items in the dining room feature the likes of pork dumplings and sushi with a blend of western dishes, while shiatsu massages are part of the relaxation offerings.

The land, buildings and business at Maruia Springs are being marketed for sale by negotiation.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Research: ‘Ageing Well’ Science Challenge Launched

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today launched the Ageing Well National Science Challenge, confirming initial funding of $14.6 million. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Govt Resisting Pressure To Pump More Cash Into Solid Energy

Prime Minister John Key says it is “not the government’s preferred option” to make a fresh capital injection into the troubled state-owned coal miner, Solid Energy, but dodged journalists’ questions at his weekly press conference on whether that might prove necessary... More>>

ALSO:

Lagest Ever Privacy Breach Award: NZCU Baywide Accepts “Severe” Censure In Cake Case

NZCU Baywide says that once it was found to have committed a breach of a former staff member’s privacy, it had attempted to resolve the matter... the censure and remedies for its actions taken almost three years ago are “severe” but accepted, and will hopefully draw a line under the matter. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: PayPal Stops Processing Mega Payments; NZX Listing Still On

PayPal has ceased processing payments for Mega, the file storage and encryption firm looking to join the New Zealand stock market via a reverse listing of TRS Investments, amid claims it is not a legitimate cloud storage service. More>>

ALSO:

Housing Policy: Auckland Densification As Popular As Ebola, English Says

Finance Minister Bill English said calls by the Reserve Bank Governor for more densification in Auckland’s housing were “about as popular in parts of Auckland as Ebola” would be. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: NZ Government Deficit Smaller Than Expected In First Half

The New Zealand government's operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first six months of the financial year, as the consumption and corporate tax take rose ahead of forecast in December, having lagged estimates in previous months. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news