Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bleeding Market Share...

The latest accommodation survey results for September have been released today by Statistics New Zealand.

For the motel industry, the stats do not make pretty reading and for some there are some worrying trends.

Total guest nights in September 2010 have decreased by 1.2 percent compared with September 2009.

 In the battle of the two islands, the North Island recorded a 1.5 percent decrease in guest nights while the South Island achieved a 0.8 percent decrease in September 2010 compared to September 2009.

Eight out of the 12 regions recorded less guest nights in September 2010 than in September 2009. The regions showing the largest decreases were: 
  • Taranaki/Manawatu-Wanganui, down 2.2 percent
  • Waikato, down 8.6 percent
  • West Coast, down 12.4 percent.
The regions recording increases were: 
  • Auckland, up 6.0 percent
  • Bay of Plenty, up 3.9 percent
  • Otago, up 2.3 percent.
Interestingly, Canterbury gets special mention by Statistics New Zealand as the earthquake on 4 September and subsequent aftershocks had a dramatic influence on the makeup of guest nights. In fact, Canterbury managed to achieve a small overall increase in guest nights of 0.2 percent in September compared to last year.

Not unexpectedly, international guest nights in Canterbury fell by 14,000, but this was counteracted by a rise of 15,000 in domestic guest nights. The dramatic domestic increase ties in with anecdotal evidence of many displaced locals and earthquake support personalle needing accommodation for various earthquake-related reasons.

International visitor guest nights across New Zealand in September 2010 decreased by 1.8 percent compared with September 2009.

Disappointingly domestic guest nights decreased by 0.9 percent in September 2010 compared with September 2009. 

Domestic tourism is the backbone of the New Zealand tourism industry and while it is pleasing to note that Kiwis are emerging from winter hibernation and travelling again, it is disappointing that they are deciding to venture overseas.

A telling statistic was that in September 2010, there were an average of 124.200 New Zealand residents out of the country per day compared with 99,400 overseas visitors in New Zealand.

For Kiwis it would appear that the lure of better weather on the Gold Coast is preferred to a weekend in a Masterton motel ;-) There is a challenge for New Zealand accommodation operators to sex up their offer if they are to capture a fair share of the lift in Kiwi travel. 

In spite of another soft month, hotels have again managed to solidify their market share by being the only sector to record an increase in guest nights compared with September 2009, up by an impressive 5.9 percent.

The three other accommodation types in the survey all recorded decreases in September 2010:
  • Motels, down 2.7 percent
  • Backpackers, down 7.2 percent
  • Holiday parks, down 10.3 percent.
Hotels achieved the highest occupancy rate (53.5 percent) of all the accommodation types in September 2010, followed by motels (44.3 percent), and backpackers (31.4 percent). 

The motel sector continues to rapidly lose market share...

...are we being too hysterical if we start calling this a crisis?

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