Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Final Post For 2012

 A candid pic from last night's Motella Xmas Party

After a rapturous Xmas party last night, Motella HQ's secret lair now has an eerie silence.

The small but perfectly formed Motella Team have departed. Chairs are stacked on desks, piles of paper, files, empty beer bottles, takeaway containers and chip packets have been cleared away.

We are about to lock-up and turn off the lights on this blog while we concentrate on the day-job that's about to get chaotic.

If you get bored or require some maternal guidance, there's over 1,600 historical posts to read in the "Blog Archive" section.

May you get what you wish for....have a profitable and joyous Christmas and New Year!

Celebrating Christmas

I see that many folk are adopting the default scornful stance on Christmas with many bemoaning the intensity and commercialisation. I on the other hand look forward to Christmas and enjoy the edge of this time of year and the opportunities it brings.

The quaint mystical significance is somewhat lost on me, however Christmas gives me a point in time when "stuff has to be completed by" and jolts sleepy consumers into action.

The insightful words of Ayn Rand capitulates Christmas for me:
"The best aspect of Christmas is that Christmas has been commercialized. The gift buying stimulates an enormous outpouring of ingenuity in the creation of products devoted to a single purpose: to give men pleasure. And the street decorations put up by departments stores and other institutions—the Christmas trees, the winking lights, the glittering colors—provide the city with a spectacular display, which only 'commercial greed' could afford to give us. One would have to be terribly depressed to resist the wonderful gaiety of that spectacle."
I welcome the free-spirited orgy of capitalism at this time of year and particularly appreciate anything that extracts people out of their usual mundane going on holiday...and staying at a motel or two along the way!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Motel Xmas

My hasn't the year flown by....As the start of the busy season is about to kick-off, the motel is looking spick-and-span. The gardens have been plucked and trimmed, the pool is sparkling, the cobblestone driveways are free of organic material and the schedule of deep-cleaning our guest rooms has just been completed. 

With all the work behind us we can take a brief breather and count-down to Christmas day.

On Christmas Day we will be spending time with a procession of family members and friends that will take some time out of their relaxing Christmas routine to come and visit us while we juggle guest demands at the motel.

It always interesting to observe what type of guests arrive to stay at our motel on Christmas Day. From previous experience we have catergorised them in to typical groupings.

We often have young or empty nest couples arrive that have purposely planned to avoid a "family Christmas." They arrive with smug smiles, their own catering and have a wonderful time together away from the obligations others would have thrust upon them.

One of the more high management groups of guests are the Asian gang of extended family members that usually depart from Pakuranga or Howick en masse. They will sweep into our driveway late afternoon in several European sedans and people movers. The gaggle is usually made up of at least three separate family groupings that will arrive bewildered and confused: "why are all the shops closed?"

The vehicles will come to an abrupt halt and left parked in all sorts of imaginative acute angles in our car park while the occupants scatter to all points of the motel.  There will be a self-appointed team leader that speaks a smattering of English that will engage in the obligatory negotiation process at reception. It will be difficult to establish exactly how many people will be staying, however the language barrier is often evaporated when communicating the numbers concerning tariff.

We usually commence the extended haggling session at double our usual tariff to ensure a mutually satisfactory "discount".

While most families will arrive after Christmas Day, we usually have at least one overenthusiastic family that have become bored with their Christmas ritual and have decided last moment to hit the road. They will arrive late in the day, mum and dad are usually not talking, at least one child is howling and another is sheepishly clutching a sick bag.

And last but not least we often attract at least one lonely soul that has had an argument with a family member and after been ejected needs some time alone to reflect. Some arrive bemused with a reasonably humorous yarn to tell while sadly others sadly arrive with bruises. 

In this crazy industry where every day is a Monday, we still regard Christmas Day as a special time.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tourism Priorities

After a brief absence enjoying the sunlight away from the Motella Lair, I've returned to familiar surroundings in preparation for the looming madness that is Xmas and New Year.

Tourism New Zealand's Chief Executive, Kevin Bowler has also been travelling around the country. Attendees to "stakeholder" sessions in the main centres were privy to Kevin's thoughts on what TNZ's priorities are likely to be over the next three years.

Most moteliers are too busy in their businesses to spend much time processing utterings from TNZ - so not many would have attended the presentations.

Luckily for busy moteliers, I'm able to give a brief overview of the presentation:
  • More Aussies and Chinese / Less of the rest
  • More Hobbits
  • More Social Media 
  • More Digital Channels - ie: is going mobile
  • More Maori Culture
  • Continued evolution of 100% Pure
For those that wish to view the long-winded version of the above points via a power-point presentation, Click HERE.

So what about Qualmark? 

Does anyone know why New Zealand's official quality assurance organisation has been conspicuously left off TNZ's vision for the future?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Signs you've chosen the wrong motel...continued

So you've checked-in to the motel, paid the unusual man at reception that insisted on cash and proceed to your allocated motel room.... where you discover a worrying handwritten sign.

Another subtle tell-tale sign that indicates that you may have chosen the wrong motel:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

AA Launch New Directory

An idiosyncrasy with the motel industry is that the majority of marketing spend is still allocated between two main travel media companies, Jasons Travel Media and AA Travel that are often affectionately referred to as the "The Ugly Sisters".

Jasons has well and truly spanked AA Travel this year in the race to hit the streets with their guides well before the busy season ahead.

The courier van dutifully delivered our brown boxes of Jasons Guides to our motel on the 24 October and we have only today received our boxes of the 2013 AA Accommodation Guide.

At 880 pages this year's AA edition is still a weighty door-stop, however not surprisingly it has slimmed down (by almost 10 percent) compared to the last year's edition.

Much like the Jasons Guide, AA have placed numerous calls-to-action for readers throughout the 2013 Guide to connect with their dynamic online content, in particular the AA iPhone App.

These days it's a difficult task to sex-up a static paper-based directory, but there is still a place for printed guides as they remain a valid part of many customers multi-media decision making process.

A reasonable portion of these guides will still find their way into traveller's car glove boxes - particularly in the domestic leisure market. But, I've noticed over the years that these books are becoming more difficult to give away....with the advent of connected portable devices that can quickly display up-to-date content, the validity of these guides is waning...

It's interesting to contemplate just how much longer it will be before the cost of advertising in these slabs of dead-wood will cease to be cost effective for accommodation advertisers...

Signs you've chosen the wrong motel...continued

Here's another subtle tell-tale sign that indicates that you may have chosen the wrong motel:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Signs you've chosen the wrong motel

Choosing the right motel can make or break happy holiday travels.

As a public service, we've decided to start a series of posts highlighting those subtle tell-tale signs that indicate that you have chosen the wrong motel.

If you see a sign as you enter a motel reception similar to the one below, it may pay to slowly back out and continue looking for alternative digs...


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Motel Refund?

The school year is just about to end...I hope my fellow accommodation providers are gearing-up for the influx of speculative leisure guests about to hit the road.

Click the "Get Widget" link below to place this widget on your website or blog!