Thursday, February 7, 2013
So how's trade been? A quick straw pole amongst fellow moteliers scattered throughout the country has mirrored our initial suspicions that the December/January holiday period has been....flat! While some motels have experienced positive trade, the majority seem to be disappointed with relatively soft demand.
This is an important time for most moteliers that should be making hay while the sun shines. And shine it did with one of the best periods of weather for many years. In spite of favorable climatic conditions, it would appear that the mass of 4 million Kiwi holiday makers that traditionally take time off together were missing-in-action from commercial accommodation.
So where did Kiwi holiday makers spend their valuable time shirking from productivity? Maybe they stayed at home, working on home improvement projects? They could have dusted off the family tent or travelled overseas? Maybe some took advantage of cheap surplus campervans languishing after the RWC? More likely the bulk of savvy Kiwis that are still smarting from the perception of recessionary times have reduced their time away and have consciously steered away from commercial accommodation and bludged "free" accommodation off friends and family.
The Commercial Accommodation Monitor will give a definitive picture on what occurred over the January/December Holiday period. The split between the accommodation sectors will be particularly interesting to note. In the interim, we'll stand by the assumption that Kiwi leisure travellers were and remain MIA.
Have Kiwis been lured into recessionary habits? If so, when will Kiwis become bored hibernating and start to see the value in creating memories and Facebook moments, by investing their own money into domestic leisure experiences that includes holidaying in motels?
Pensioners, clutching their Winston Gold Cards, a smattering of overseas visitors and the welcome return of commercial travellers will assist getting the year back on track for most moteliers.