Thursday, April 14, 2011

Motels Off To A Slow Start

The first accommodation survey results for 2011 have been released today by Statistics New Zealand. The eagerly awaited January stats have been delayed due to the impact of the February earthquake on Statistics New Zealand’s Christchurch operations.

Not unexpectedly, guest nights fell 2.3 percent in January 2011 compared with January 2010.

The hotel sector continue to buck the trend by achieving a gain in guest nights for the 14th consecutive month. For us, the inequitable allocation of guest nights between the accommodation sectors continues to be the major theme of these surveys.

Domestic guest nights fell 2.6 percent, accounting for two-thirds of the overall drop, while international guest nights fell 2.0 percent.  

Eleven of the 12 regions recorded fewer guest nights compared with January 2010 with Auckland enjoying the only increase. Bay of Plenty and Otago showed the largest falls (down 7.1 and 3.6 percent respectively), largely due to fewer domestic guest nights.

The hotel sector's stellar performance of 2010 continues into 2011 with an increase of 3.6 percent in guest nights for January 2011 compared to January 2010. 

The backpacker sector managed to hold-their-own with a modest 0.3 percent increase while holiday parks were down 4.6 percent and motels lagged behind the pack with a 5.6 percent decrease.

January is a critical month where the majority of accommodation operators fill their tanks and set themselves up for the year ahead. We predicted that the fickle domestic market would be spooked over the 2011 January school holiday period and it would appear that we were correct. Unfortunately the domestic market's indecision has hit the motel sector the hardest.

While we are aware of many pockets of strong motel businesses, the worrying trend of the motel sector bleeding market share continues. 

It remains to be seen what affect the February Christchurch quake will have on guest nights.

Source: Click HERE

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