Monday, February 15, 2010

The Year In Review

So how did last year's trading go?

With December 2009 Guest Accommodation Survey figures now in, we can now collate the full year's guest night results.

For the 2009 year, total guest nights were 1 percent lower than total guest nights in the 2008 year. While any decrease is disappointing we can at least resign ourselves that this overall result was not as bad as some were predicting.

For the 2009 year, South Island operators were able to more or less maintain guest nights recorded the previous year, while North Island operators let the side down dropping guest nights by 2 percent. 

While the disparity between the North and South Islands is significant, what we have found most interesting is the distribution of guest nights amongst the accommodation sectors.

It would appear that the motel sector has again worn the brunt of the downturn by recording the largest guest night decrease of all accommodation sectors, down 304,000 guest nights (3 percent).

This compares to hotels down 111,000 guest nights (1 percent) and holiday parks down 105,000 guest nights (2 percent). Backpackers had the only increase in guest nights over the year, up 53,000 (1 percent).

For the 2009 year, international guest nights fell 3 percent compared with 2008. This decline contributed 81 percent of the fall in total guest nights and would have contributed significantly in the decline in guest nights recorded in the hotel sector.

For the 2009 year, it was pleasing that domestic guest nights fared much better by falling less than 1 percent. With over 70 percent of motel occupancies traditionally made up of Kiwi guests, we would have thought that the better relative performance of domestic v international guest nights would have reflected comparatively well on the motel sector? Not so!

The hotel sector overtook the motel sector by hosting more guest nights in 2008 and have solidified their crown in 2009. 

It is easy for the motel sector to use the tough economic times as an apology for bleeding guest nights in 2008 and 2009, however, it must be accepted that other accommodation sectors are becoming smarter and eating into motel's market share.

Why is this? We have several theories, however are interested in what you think?

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