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Dunedin hotels coping well despite slow recovery

Dunedin hotels coping well despite slower than expected recovery

Rugby World Cup visitors will provide a short term boost to Dunedin hotels after a slower than expected economic recovery over the past two years.

Speaking at NZ Hotel Council’s 2010 Annual Operating Survey presentation in Dunedin this morning, NZHC Independent Chair Jennie Langley said hotels throughout the country were constantly adjusting to meet the needs of fewer travellers from traditional long haul markets, increased visitors from Asian countries, guests booking at the last minute and almost everyone looking for deals.

In 2010 NZHC’s five Dunedin hotel members:
achieved an annual occupancy of 66%, up from 63.7% in 2009
had an average room rate (ARR) of $120.90 compared to the national average of $129.00
generated almost $20m in revenue from a total of 442 rooms and employed over 270 people. They contributed $13.4m to the region through wages and salaries, food and beverage purchases, sales and marketing costs, room expenses such as laundry, electricity charges, rates and other expenditure.

Wages and salaries, and local council rates made up $6.7m and $375k respectively of this total.

Nationwide, the 2010 annual survey highlighted the slowing down of numbers from traditional markets such as the UK and United States, the continued importance of Australian visitors, and the return of the Asian markets, particularly South Korea and China. New Zealanders accounted for 58% of all rooms sold in the Dunedin region last year, followed by Australians at 21%.

Ms Langley said Dunedin hotels were largely dependent on independent and leisure travellers (40% of rooms sold), then corporate (27%), followed by tours and groups (22%).

She said the tragic earthquake in Christchurch will inevitably have some impact on visitor arrivals in the short term, as it did in September 2010.

“We are working closely with our members and the wider tourism sector to help wherever we can.
Members are also in close contact with each other, offering assistance, helping to find visitors alternative accommodation at short notice and offering temporary employment to staff.”

Other highlights from the NZHC Annual Hotel Operating Survey 2010:

NZHC members directly employed almost 11,000 permanent and casual staff.

Auckland achieved the highest annual occupancy rate of 74.8%, followed by Wellington (69.5%) and Queenstown (69.4%).

The Central Park region (Taupo, Tongariro, Napier and Gisborne) had the highest average room rate of $144.70, followed by Wellington $138.90.

The average room rate for 5-star hotels was $178.70, 4-star was $117.4 and 3-star was $84.90
The largest individual source of business was FIT/leisure travellers (43% of all rooms sold), followed by corporate (22%) and tours & groups (18%).

The largest consumers of hotel accommodation in 2010 were New Zealanders (52% of all rooms sold), followed by Australians (19%).

On average, 33% of bookings were short-term (made up to seven days prior to arrival), 38% were medium-term (8-30 days prior to arrival) and 29% were long-term (more than 30 days prior to arrival).

25% of bookings came via the internet, 30% came direct to the hotels and 25% came from travel sellers

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