Thursday, April 1, 2010

How's Your Easter Trade?

I've been talking to a few fellow moteliers this week and it would appear that the outlook for Easter trade is....patchy.

Those motels that are busy appear to have mainly attracted punters attending local events. Has the last blast Easter Kiwi holiday, taking advantage of the last of the warmer weather fallen out of fashion this year? We hope that the school holidays that follow-on from Easter this year will encourage Kiwis to plan an impromptu road-trip before their traditional winter hibernation. 

The fall in fuel prices should help. The accommodation industry is driven by copious amounts of optimism and fuel;-)

Easter is always one of those times of the year that marks a change in rhythm with the end of the high season.  For most of the country, accommodation trade is solar powered, so moteliers (and their bank managers) generally feel some unease with plummeting temperatures and the end of Daylight Saving. 

This time of year also heralds the inevitable Easter Shop Trading Law and the Holidays Act debate. These draconian Acts present unnecessary barriers for businesses and consumers that wish to trade, but are restricted in doing so.

It is frustrating hosting guests over the Easter break and hearing their complaints about the lack of spending opportunities due to businesses restricted with Easter shop trading laws or choosing not to open due to the Holidays Act.

For accommodation operators, yield management over this period involves cherry-picking reservations that minimise necessary cleans on statutory days. 

While we can understand why some businesses add statutory holiday surcharges to the price of goods and services, we hope that the majority of accommodation operators continue to resist the temptation to add a surcharge to tariff. 

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