Thursday, April 30, 2009

Motella's Book of the Week

Investigative journalist, Ian Wishart launched his latest book this week, "Air Con". Wishart turns his guns on the global warming industry. Who's telling the truth, who's telling porkies?

It is clear that the National led government will go ahead with the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in some form next year. It is unclear how much this will cost businesses and ordinary people?

The biggest fear for the tourism and accommodation industry is not global climate change itself, but the extent of government regulation to be imposed.

Hopefully, Wishart's book will be timely and assist in some reasoned debate before ETS legislation is finalised.

Scroll down and read a free preview of the book on the following widget:

I am still not panicking

We live in an age of information overload and for those that don't trust their own mind it is easy to allow others to think for us. The media are more than happy to assume this role.

At the risk of being over sensitive there appears to be plenty of reason to not travel at the moment. There is the environmental guilt that we should all feel when we burn fossil fuel, we are in the midst of a "Global Financial Crisis," we learn that "only" 57 percent of all passengers on domestic flights are security checked and now we have the phenomenon of swine flu.

You can't blame the public for staying at home and hiding under the bed!

In Bill Ralston's blog today he makes comment on the swine flu hysteria:
I am still not panicking despite the Chicken Little approach adopted by virtually the entire world's media over swine flu and the World Health Organisation's upgrade of the threat level to Defcon 5 or whatever.
It was, after all, the WHO that came out with dramatically lower death toll figures than the hysterical figures coming out of Mexico. It is simply taking a wise precautionary approach and its statements on the issue are a lot saner than a media that has gone into hyper-space overdrive to milk every possible angle on a potential pandemic.
Ralston also pokes fun at the precautions being taken at Auckland airport where the anti-pandemic strategy is to ask passengers if they are feeling ill.
So unless you fancy an extended stay in some three star motor lodge in Mangere, I suspect most of you would stifle that snuffling, lie and say you feel as fit as a fiddle.
The cheek of the man!

Will tourism be affected with the perception of threat from swine flu? The threat for tourism is not from swine flu, but from the way the media projects the story and the restrictions and regulations that governments may impose.

Reason dictates that the odds of dying from swine flu traveling around New Zealand is on par with being struck by lightning.

Our tourism leaders need to stick their necks out and point this out to a gullable public.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Y2K Bug, Ozone Holes, Bird Flu, SARS, Global Warming.....Swine Flu?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Teenage Angst

School holidays can be a mixed blessing for moteliers. For many it would seem that more guest nights of regular rep trade are lost, than any gains from school holiday leisure trade.

We have enjoyed having both our children home over the first term break and for my daughter she will be returning to her normal routine at her local school from today. My son will be returning to boarding school tommorrow and it will be hard to see him leave again.

It is frustrating for parents of a teenage boy to try and communicate with them and it has been agonising to try and gain an impression of what our son's first term was like at his new school away from home. We have found a good technique is to lure him into an enclosed space with at least one of his friends by using food. We have enjoyed the lively and colourfull conversations that often follow between mouthfills.

Every parent of a tenager will enjoy this video. This has been around for a while, but is very clever and oh so true:

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Motella enters a caravan!

The Motella and family are having a much needed break together before school commences next week.

Long time readers of this blog will know my views on caravans, however I believe in trying new things. While our family had some time together, we visited some friends in a holiday park.....thats right, the Motella not only set foot inside a holiday park, but also briefly entered a caravan, where our friends were staying!

The sky seemed to darken and I swear the walls were slowly moving towards me as I sat in a caravan, looking out at the damp grounds scattered with an eccentric group of "holidaymakers" and lifestyle dropouts that were smugly pretending to enjoy themselves.

Needless to say, we didn't stay long and hurridly scurried back to the safe familairty of our motel.

The following video will enlighten those that may be considering joining the caravan cult:

Friday, April 24, 2009

Make plans

We are now on the dreaded "other side of Easter" and trade will now soften considerably for most motels as Kiwis begin to hibernate for the cooler months.

Kathie Shepherd is an ex-motelier and now a specialist motel broker extraordinaire. She has been busy completing her National Diploma in Real Estate ... and updating her blog.

For fellow "motellas" with a bit more time on their hands, what better time to consider working on your business and writing that business plan that you have been putting off. For some, just remaining in business until Xmas, could be a worthy goal.

I personally would rather endure sitting through a Green Party convention than composing a business plan, however, Kathie has kindly provided some inspiration to help motivate us: Click HERE

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bell Ringers!

Certain guests leave an lasting impression on you and tend to dominate the entire complex when they stay at your motel.

A motelier has a sixth sense that can detect at an early stage that a potental guest will be hard work. We call these guests "Bell-Ringers" as they will need to be continually reassured and maintained before and during their stay. Why "Bell-Ringers?" Well it's simple: in order to get attention they will consistently ring you on the phone or set off the bell at reception.

If the motelier knows that they can easily fill the room, is feeling somewhat friviolous and is able think on their feet quickly, a Bell-Ringer can be cut free at the reservation enquiry stage and informed with "regret" that there are "no suitable rooms available at the inn".

A Bell-Ringer can be infuriating, self-important, needy and seemingly ignorant time-water, however they can present a positive challenge to satisfy and will sing your praises wide if you are able to appease them.

What are the signs of a "Bell-Ringer"?

It often starts with the reservation process.

Such guests will always desire verbal stimulation. Any information widly available in accommodation guides and on the web need to be verbalised. Before a reservation is even made the wife will generally make several "inquiries" making liberal use of your toll free number. Queries will start off on a generic nature that will include general chat about the availability of a room over a range of dates and things to do/attractions/restaurants available in the city. The phonecalls will continue as she verbaly pontifcates if she will even be comming to your location and if so when she will be able to travel. No final decision can ever be made as all information will need to be relayed and confirmed by her husband.

Once she has decided when they can stay and that they will be indeed travelling to your location, the questions are then drilled down to the motel's facilities and types of rooms available. A barrage of questions will contuine over several more phone calls and will often get down to where the unit is located in the complex, witch direction does the room face and what are the interior colour tonings?

The husband will then second-guess the whole process and make his own multiple phone calls. The wide ranging question and answer session covering old ground will start again!

Toward the end of the process the three children are mentioned for the first time and it needs to be laboriously explained that the small studio unit with a queen bed may not be suitable. After discussing more suitable room options and subduing the endless whining for a discount a conclusion is finaly reached and a reservation will be made.

Ineverably after the resersation is made, more phone calls by the guest are nesseary as the the in/out dates are changed, the number of persons staying are amended and more questions are required to be asked.

Before the guest has even arrived they have clocked up a wedge of 0800 call charges and you just know that they will contunue to badger you after they arrive.

At check-in, we identify these guests early and always like to allow additional time to laboriously go through all of the motel's amenities, room features and giving them every map and tbrochure that we can muster. An extra 10 minutes with our high maintenance guests will often save a lot of grief and future time wasting during their stay.

After checking-in one of our "Bell-Ringers" recently, I walked back to the reception after taking them to their room and giving them an extended run-down on all of its features including the perienial favourites of how to use the telephone and turn on the TV. I then waited for the ineviatible phone call.

It took 3 minutes!

"Have you got a sandwich maker we can borrow?"

Bugger! these guests are booked in for the next three nights and I know we are going to see a lot of them.

Celebrate Travel

Apparantly it was "Earth Day" yesterday.

As if Earth Hour was not (long) enough, we are now given a whole day to reflect on our guilt of living in a modern society. No I am not going to link to their official rightous website that preaces doom and gloom, claims that the world is nigh and it's all YOUR fault!

There is an irony of the tourism and accommodation businesseses that kneel at the alter of environmentalsm on one hand but in yet encourage mass movement of humankind in order to economically sustain their industry.

The tourism and accommodation industry relies on burning fossil fuel and those businesses that smugly claim to be environmentaly sustainable should only be doing business with those that turn up on bicycles.

Those in the accommodation industry grandstanding their environmental credentials by encouraging guests to reuse towels, restricting water use and sponsoring bewildered Wekas may feel good about themselves, but ultimately the public are aware of the irony and aren't that stupid.

I posted the following video some time ago, however it reflects to me what the tourism and accommodation industry is all about.

It is about the unrestrained joy of travel, to move between borders without impedement or environmental guilt, to sample and interact with different cultures and celebrate the achievements of humankind.

Watch it in "High Definition" turn up the sound and enjoy:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dick of the Week - Trevor Mallard

The motel industry is buzzing about the "Wainuiomata banning incident" as shown to the nation on television last night.

Owners of the Supreme Motor Lodge in Palmerston North appear to have had a bit of bad luck interacting with the public recently and have identified that the most troublesome guests that cause them the most grief are domiciled in Wainuiomata.

The motel has reacted by banning all 16,000 residents of the Lower Hutt suburb.

The media, has had no difficulty in inflaming precious Kiwis defending the honour of Wainuiomata and claiming that the suburb is "really not that bad."

What has been conspicuously absent in the debate are the rights of business owners to make a decision on how they run their own private business and who they choose to host on their own private property.

We believe that a business owner publicly announcing a blanket ban on a geographical area may be unwise and somewhat misguided, however we concede that we do not know their business or market and we defend the owners' right to conduct their own business as they see fit.

Last night's farcical situation of having bovver boy Labour MP Trevor Mallard attempting to book into the motel with TV One's CloseUp cameras in pursuit was hilarious. Obviously feeling somewhat unrestrained with Uncle Helen safely offshore, Mallard confidently marched up to the motel's reception believing that he had a God-given right to a room at the motel.

Mallard was indignant when he found the reception door locked and was greeted by a bemused Scottish manager that firmly asked him to leave "his" private property.

Fairly typical of his type, Mallard strode onto private property demanding something he wasn't entitled to and then after being unceremoniously ejected, declared that all motels should take a Kiwi Host course.

We feel that Mallard made a prize dick of himself and should stick with nannying the hapless folk in his own electorate.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Motelier's geographical ban hits the TV screens

Predictable media coverage of Supreme Motor Lodge's ban on Wainuiomata residents. TV journos didn't have to work too hard to get reaction from the usual suspects.

See how it played out on One News this evening by clicking on the following picture for the video link:

One National News

Close Up

Motel bans guests from Wainuiomata

Supreme Motor Lodge joint owner Steve Donnelly has had a bit of bad luck over the last few weeks.

The motel's games room was broken into with low-life criminals taking a television, DVD player and leaving behind damage. In other incidents, a $1500 water blaster was stolen and a unit was broken into and resulting in a $10,000 clean-up bill. The icing on the cake was having unruly sports teams from Wainuiomata stay and causing strife.

The self proclaimed Basil Faulty has had enough. The wrath of this luckless motelier has now been directed upon all residents of Wainuiomata by announcing a ban on anyone from the town that wishes to stay at his motel.

Wainuiomata's greatest export, Trevor Mallard, famous for innovative uses of Heineken bottles is predictably outraged and true to form believes that legislation and a group hug should be used to appease the situation.

The only voice of reason in this story was from the Motel Association of NZ's CE Michael Baines that backed the motelier: "As long as it obeys the law, we would back up any motelier's right to make decisions regarding their business." We wholeheartedly agree!

The market will ultimately decide if publicly announcing a ban on Wainuiomata residents was a wise decision by the motelier.

The Dominion Post
21 April 2009

A Palmerston North motel with its own "Basil Fawlty" has banished an entire town from its doorstep.

The 16,000 residents of the Lower Hutt suburb of Wainuiomata were slapped with a blanket ban by Palmerston North's Supreme Motor Lodge this week, after a series of misdemeanours by visiting sports teams.

Supreme's owner, Steve Donnelly-an Australian- said guests from Wainuiomata were more trouble than they were worth.

"Having had about a hundred people from there over the last couple of years and maybe one that we liked ... it is not worth it and we would do the same to anyone who causes us that level of stress."

Sports teams from Wainuiomata High School and the town's indoor sports club were accused of spitting, playing loud music at night, using obscene language and being unruly.

"Everyone there refuses to acknowledge the problem, and accuses the world of being out to get them. I've been there once ... I was surrounded by graffiti, and I thought, `I don't want to spend much time here'."

Mr Donnelly said teachers and parents repeatedly failed to keep their charges in check, letting them run wild in the motel's facilities.

Wainuiomata Indoor Sports Club owner Calena Hura denied the accusations and said the motel manager, Malcolm Glen described on Supreme's website as a "Basil Fawlty"after the John Cleese character had been unprofessional toward the club's indoor netball team from the start.

Wainuiomata High School's touch team was turfed out of the motel two days into its stay, but principal Rob Mill also said the motel manager was to blame.

"They are teenagers, so there is going to be some level of noise. The manager was quite unreasonable and actually quite aggressive."

Motel Association chief executive Michael Baines defended the motel's position, saying sports teams were a motelier's nightmare. "As long as it obeys the law, we would back up any motelier's right to make decisions regarding their business."

Accommodation providers are subject to anti-discrimination laws under the Human Rights Act, but geographical area is not a prohibited ground of discrimination.


Prominent Wainuiomata locals have hit back at the motel's move to ban people hailing from their suburb with one even threatening to stay there for a week. Labour MP Trevor Mallard, born and bred in Wainuiomata, said the move was absolutely outrageous."It's stupid and very, very unfair. It shows the sort of blind prejudice I thought we didn't have in New Zealand anymore. I'm not surprised the [owner's] Australian."

He questioned the legality of the ban under hotel licensing rules and offered to meet the motel management and work through the issue.

Mr Mallard said Wainuiomata contained a wide range of people, including conservationists and scientists, and had produced some of the country's leading sportsmen.

Former All Black Captain Tana Umaga and Lions captain Piri Weepu both hailed from the 1960s development that came to be known as "Nappy Valley".

Wainuiomata rugby league stalwart and sports commentator Ken Laban said the whole thing was a joke but the hotel owners were cutting themselves out of a market of 16,000 persons.

"Give me their number and I'll go and book myself in for a week. I'll be recommending to all my friends that they go and stay there.

"There are some people I know in Wainuiomata I wouldn't have over to stay, but there are more in Khandallah and Ngaio. Wainui is just the tip of the iceberg, you've got dodgy types like Bill English in Karori."
Wainuiomata ward councillor Ray Wallace denied the suburb had an attitude problem and said the community always rallied around people in times of need.

"When we had a fundraiser for victims of 9/11, Wainuiomata as a single area raised the most money out of the whole country."

The town should not be punished for the actions of "a few young, high-spirited sports players", he said.

Source: Click HERE

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Vandals ravage motel room

Most of us have been a victim of crime and when you are a motelier it's going to happen to you sooner or later.

It is frustrating dealing with the damage and mayhem left behind by seemingly untouchable criminals that appear to do what they want without consequence. We can appreciate that the cost to repair the damage, the time taken and the opportunity-cost of lost business is huge.

The icing on the cake for the hapless moteliers in this story is a police error that meant they were unable to respond earlier. This is most unfortunate, as the police generally work well with moteliers and have a mutually effective relationship.

This is a good opportunity for the local grouping of moteliers to meet with police and discuss how they can assist one another in cracking down on low lifes.

We are impressed with the initiative of the motel's manager that is doing his own sleuth work. He is trying to identify graffiti tags left behind by the low life vandals by interacting with young street kids and offering a reward. Now the trail has gone cold, we hope he is successful!

Manawatu Standard

Palmerston North moteliers are fuming police did not act sooner after teenage boys trashed one of their rooms, causing $10,000 worth of damage.

Supreme Motor Lodge owners Steve and Liz Donnelly called police on Thursday afternoon after a guest saw four vandals, allegedly aged 8 to 14, jump back over a concrete wall.

But, after 24 hours, police still hadn't turned up and the guest who saw the faces of the culprits had left town, Mr Donnelly said.

He was told only one police car was on duty and they had more urgent matters to attend.

Police rang Mr Donnelly at 1am Friday and told him they were still unable to make it as they were dealing with drunk people.

Mr Donnelly called Central District commander Russell Gibson yesterday afternoon.

Soon after the phone call a constable arrived at the motel.

"Forensics attended first thing this morning and we have lifted a number of finger prints," Mr Gibson said. He put the delay down to human error, not low-staffing issues.

"I'm clearly embarrassed by this ... it's not that we didn't have people available, it's the fact that some where in the process there has been a slip up."

Mr Gibson said he would look into what went wrong and make sure it never happened again.

Smashed wine glasses and light bulbs covered the bathroom and kitchen floors of the hotel room, bedding and towels were crumpled on the floors, a brand new dining chair was broken and grass clippings scattered on the kitchen bench had been set on fire.

The spa pool and cover were also damaged.The kids had been in the room for a few hours but double-glazed windows meant nobody was alerted to the noise, motel manager Malcolm Glen said. He believes this attack was by the same group who broke into the games room three weeks ago.A spa pool was wrenched out of the ground, the games room was wrecked and a television and DVD player were stolen. And at the beginning off this week a $1500 water blaster was stolen.

The motel does not have contents insurance because it is too expensive.

It would take a week to get the room ready for guests.

They were planning to install more security cameras and lights, Mr Glen said.

Mr Glen took a hairdryer that was tagged by the vandals to show kids at the Highbury shops and park.

He offered a $200 reward to anyone who tells him who the tags belong to.

Source: Click HERE

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Running a business with kids

It's the school holidays! Our daughter is having a break from her local school and our son is home from boarding school - it's good to have a fellow male to supplement the testosterone imbalance in our household.

Sure, it can be sometimes tough raising kids in a motel, but what we can give them is first hand experience in the noble art of running a business. They can see the hard work that goes on behind the scenes and the commitment that is required.

They can observe how we treat our guests and transact with them. Hopefully they can see the big picture on where money comes from and appreciate what other children take for granted.

Our motel environment gives our children an education that they will never be taught in school. The socialist creep into our education system does nothing to promote and celebrate the concept of the noble businessman and the virtues of the free market. Schools are unable to effectively teach what qualities an entrepreneur must possess and the risks that they must take to succeed.

Our children are required to contribute in the business and are rewarded for what they achieve. Although they are not always 100% willing to help, we have yet to experience full-on teenage angst, but we are aware that it will come.

Our family recently enjoyed the following video on You Tube. This has become an ongoing gag in our family these holidays:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Motella" Top 10

Kinda chuffed that "Motella" has made the top 10 of referring websites so far that link to the Atlas Struggled Book Campaign from an inconspicuous link on our sidebar.

Atlas Shrugged Book Campaign

Another Business Tourism "Leader"

Within the first 100-days of the new government's term, the "Buy New Zealand Made" advertising campaign was quite rightly suspended.

A recent study by the University of Otago vindicated this decision and concluded what we already know. The public "feels good" about these types of campaigns, but are unwilling to open their wallets to support the concept.

In other words, the $11.5 million "do as I say" pet project of the Green Party had little effect on consumer behaviour.

Now we have another example of a "Business Tourism leader" that is unaware of a change of government. Alan Trotter is CEO of Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) has decided to start his own campaign and is demanding that New Zealanders support "Kiwi Made."

Alan Trotter last hit the headlines by publicly whinging that a few government departments were canceling conferences. His self-serving reasoning was not that the conferences were necessary, but that the government should be supporting the conference having conferences.

Instead of nannying about and demanding that the public must buy Kiwi Made, our "Tourism Leaders" should be ensuring that their members are able to flourish in an environment of minimal state intervention. And ensure their members have access to tools to improve economic efficiencies and productivity.

Demand for local tourism product will not improve through nationalism, but by the innovation, competitiveness and efficiencies of the tourism businesses operating in New Zealand.

Our Tourism leaders should be encouraging its members to make their product so dam sexy that Kiwis will not want to leave home!

14 April 2009
Press Release

Business Tourism leader Alan Trotteris calling for New Zealanders to support ‘Kiwi Made’ and conference within New Zealand instead of heading overseas.

“Travel and conference budgets have tightened due to the current economic climate, but conferences and meetings are still an integral part of business and are still happening, albeit it with tighter purses strings,” says Mr Trotter, CEO of Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ).

“It’s the perfect opportunity for local corporates to make the most of the diverse range of conference product available within New Zealand. This way they are pumping much needed money back into the local economy while supporting New Zealand businesses at the same time.”

Mr Trotter adds that CINZ is still working hard to attract the international conference dollar to New Zealand shores, particularly from the lucrative Australian market sitting right on our doorstep, but says New Zealanders need to conference at home to help the industry through these challenging economic times.

“ New Zealandhas a sound conference infrastructure right throughout the country and it’s imperative we work hard to support this solid base. Not only keeping it going but injecting enough money in so infrastructure can continue to be improved for the future. Looking ahead the economy will improve and international conferencing will return – and with a vengeance - so New Zealandmust be prepared and not left on the back foot.”

Conference and incentive business is worth $1 billion dollars a year to the New Zealand economy, with domestic conferencing making up 80 percent of this figure.

Mr Trotter is inviting local corporates along to MEETINGS 2009, CINZ’s annual business tourism expo that is being held on July 21, 22 and 23 at SKYCITYAuckland Convention Centre.

“The expo showcases a diverse range of New Zealand’s key destinations, venues, products and services for conferences, meetings, exhibitions, events and incentive travel programmes and is perfect for anyone planning a business tourism event,” he says.

In an effort to attract even more corporate buyers to the show, this year for the first time the expo is opening early, exclusively for Day Buyers.

“We are opening half a day earlier than usual to give Day Buyers an opportunity for dedicated time with exhibitors on Tuesday afternoon between 2pm and 5pm in an appointment free setting,” says Jeanette Stanton, Event Manager.

Ms Stanton adds that feedback from previous years indicated Day Buyers wanted dedicated time to meet with exhibitors instead of them trying to slot in around exhibitors’ appointment times.

“Day Buyers can also still attend the show on Wednesday and Thursday during opening hours if they want. Millennium Hotels & Resorts are once again supporting MEETINGS 2009 and will offer hosted luncheons to Day Buyers on Tuesday and Wednesday.”

Exhibitor numbers at MEETINGS 2009 are expected to exceed 170.

For more information visit

MEETINGS 2009 is New Zealand’s only annual national convention and incentive tradeshow and is hosted by Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ).

Source: Click HERE

Hotels Demand Corporate Welfare

I was reading an article by Jennie Langley, independent chair of the New Zealand Hotel Council (NZHC). The organisation she represents has "close to 100% of large hotel inventory" in New Zealand.

I find it amusing that NZHC are joining the Tourism Industry Association in "lobbying for a national conference and convention centre."

For a trade organisation that purportedly represents the business interests of major hotels that already provide conference and convention facilities, advocating a state funded facility is sadly ironic.

OK, we get the point that those calling for a state funded conference and convention facility surmise that this is allegedly "needed" on a larger scale than what is already provided. However, "build it and they will come" seems to be a simplistic philosophy that ignores the pain of taxpayers subsidising a long term loss generating formica palace.

If a conference and convention facility is feasible, then why can't it be privately funded? We assume that most of the existing facilities already provided (many by NZHC members) are of a type and scale that are appropriate and economically sustainable.

Our tourism and accommodation leaders still seem to be still living in the Nanny State era of the last government. Instead of chasing corporate welfare, the NZHC and other trade associations should be advocating greater legislative freedom on behalf of its members. With all things government - less is more!

If the NZHC wish to continue to look towards government agencies for increased guest night solutions for its members, then perhaps they should be lobbying for a national state funded Disney style theme park instead?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Discount pressure risky for tourism

The Dominion Post
13 April 2009

Increasing pressure for cut-price accommodation is putting the tourism sector at risk of being run down and unprepared for the Rugby World Cup.

Statistics New Zealand figures for February showed occupancy rates were the lowest for 10 years in a February month, typically the strongest month for travellers' accommodation.

That combined with lower numbers of paid guest nights was putting extreme pressure on operators to agree to customers demanding discounted prices.

February guest nights increased year on year from 2006 to 2008 but dropped this year by nearly 8 per cent.

International guest nights were down 13 per cent while domestic travellers were only buying 2 per cent less.

Hotel Council chairwoman Jennie Langley said the pressure to discount was fierce, led by overseas wholesalers and a public expectation that they could get away with it.
"Last-minute booking trends are extraordinary. Even some of the long-haul travellers are booking only seven to 10 days out. They are obviously thinking the longer they leave it the better deal they will get."

With the low season starting, the pressure to fill beds was strong but the long-term cost of discounting was dire. Ms Langley said discounting threatened hotels' profits and limited their opportunity to reinvest in maintenance and refurbishment.

"That is absolutely essential to some of these properties around the country. We have the Rugby World Cup coming [in 2011] and we have to deliver to the quality of the brand or the star rating."

Hotels should add value such as free meals or activities instead of lowering their room rates, which were already low internationally.

The Hotel Council's 2008 annual operating survey showed Wellington had the highest average room rate in New Zealand at $147, significantly less than the A$170 (NZ$209) average room rate across Australia's three main cities, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

"It really does take a long time to recover those room rates [after they have been discounted]," Ms Langley said.

Holiday Inn Wellington general manager Heather Idoine-Riley said a healthy corporate market and a well-recognised brand meant they had not had to discount heavily, but with more cheap flights more people were arriving in Wellington without booked accommodation.

"They are walking around asking for discounts and after three or four hotels they get it," she said.

Millenium Hotels managing director BK Chiu said the market was supply and demand driven and his hotels had the autonomy to cut prices to fill rooms.

"If we have one room left, you will pay rack rate, but if we have to fill 100 rooms, you'll get a good deal."

He said it was the nature of the market and they needed certain occupancy rates to keep the hotels ticking over. With dropping tourist numbers they had to compete.

"It always hurts, but it is a free market. There are no price controls here."

Motel Association of New Zealand chief executive Michael Baines said moteliers were not under the same pressure, with profitability holding up better than occupancy, and room rates reasonably stable.

"I think some of the hotels are being extremely silly. You'd wonder if they are throwing a dart at the price board. I don't see a lot of rationality in what they are doing," Mr Baines said.

Ms Langley said some hotels were prepared to stand their ground on prices and that had to become the norm.

"It takes both policy and courage to say this is our bottom line and we're sticking to that. That is starting to happen in some areas."

Source: Click HERE

Government Accommodation Crackdown

New Blog, Kiwi Motel Marketing has posted about a rumor that "Government Departments have been told to limit bookings to 3 and a half or four star Motels?" This has been "reputedly driven by fear of the media as much as the 10% budget cuts many have had."

We have heard similar rumors ourselves, however we believe that 3 and a half to four star quality range was set more so with hotels in mind. This may be a mute point, however it is clear that government is focused on reducing costs and having the appearance of restraint, so five star hotels are now off the menu! Overall this can only be good news for moteliers, however we cynically do not expect to see three and a half to four star rated motels bulging with government officials anytime soon.

As business operators, moteliers will be pleased to see the new rhetoric of restraint in government spending.

Last year under the Clark government, the State Service Commission were investigating ways to reduce government department travel 15 percent by 2010.

Was the Clark government showing concern and proposing to introduce controls on spending taxpayers’ money as carefully as hardworking Kiwi families and businesses?.... well NO!

According to the State Service Commission, there was no acknowledgment that government should be rationalising spending other people's money or reducing the weight of the public sector. Instead, the State Service Commission wished to focus on saving the planet!

Apparently, the enemy of the state was greenhouse gas emissions, that needed to be reduced and sustainable transport practices needed to be accelerated.

It's amazing what a difference an election has made...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hiden Camera in Motel Shower!

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The following news story provides perfect fodder for another tacky B-grade American horror movie.

Get your own back and take a voyeuristic look at the Tall Pines Motel in Florida USA - creepy!

11 April 2009
Associated Press

OCALA, Fla. — Authorities say a Marion County motel manager hid a camera to record at least one of the guests taking a shower.

Marion County deputies arrested 49-year-old Barry Alexander on Thursday. A woman staying at the Tall Pines Motel in Ocklawaha told deputies her shower had been broken for three days and she had been using the manager's. She said she found the camera in the floor vent.

Alexander initially told deputies he hid the camera to record drug use but later acknowledged that he put it there to look at naked people.

Deputies discovered that the guest's shower had actually been fixed, meaning she didn't need to use the manager's.

Alexander was charged with video voyeurism. He was released Friday on $5,000 bail.

Source: Click HERE

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Holiday parks booming in recession?

Watch video HERE

Good to see Fergus Brown, CE of the Holiday Accommodation Parks Association of New Zealand (HAPNZ) making it on television this evening.

At the end of March 2009, HAPNZ released its research findings on the economic contribution of holiday park visitors. Click HERE for the highlights

The Association was able to gain good traction in all media with its revelation that visitors contribute around $623 million in direct expenditure to New Zealand’s economy each year.

This revelation was again repeated on this evening's news clip with the backdrop of fine weather and happy Easter holiday park occupants eagerly smiling for the camera. This was a coup d’état for Fergus and HAPNZ that have to be congratulated on stimulating a positive cost-effective media campaign!

Other accommodation sectors can learn from this.

Are Holiday parks booming in recession? Well....that is probably optimistic. There was a wee bit of spin, with the news item leaving the viewer with the impression that caravan parks and camping grounds were overrun with increased occupancies. For the December 2008 year caravan parks/camping grounds were up by 60,000 guest nights (1 percent).

Unfortunately the 2009 year has not started well for the caravan parks and camping ground sector with guest nights in January down by 47,000 (3 percent) and February down by 42,000 (5 percent).

March figures are unlikely to be spectacular when released and who knows if having Easter fall in April will be enough to boost this month's figures?

On the positive side, caravan parks/camping grounds in spite of bleeding guest nights comparative to last year have still performed relatively better than the motel and hotel sectors.

April 11, 2009

Holiday parks across the country are having a happy Easter as the beginning of school holidays see people pitching tents around the country.

But it is not just the holiday parks who cash in on the benefits. According to research commissioned by the Holiday Parks Association, guests nationwide inject $623 million into New Zealand's economy annually.

"People look at holiday parks and in many cases thought that's the bottom end of the market," says Fergus Brown of the association.

"But what we're actually finding is that people who are choosing to stay at holiday parks are doing so because they might want to spend more money on activities, on attractions, on eating out."

Tough economic times mean more Kiwis are seeking cheaper holidays at home and the sector is recognising that.

"At the moment we're seeing new holiday parks opening up," Brown says.

"People are seeing that holiday parks can be profitable businesses and, run well, they are making good money."

Source: Click HERE

Pets By Arrangement

One difference between motels/hotels in the USA and New Zealand that fascinates me is the attitude of towards accepting guests with pets.

According to an article in, "It’s now possible to take pets along to almost any city or resort in North America and find a range of pet-friendly accommodations."

The same could probably not be said for New Zealand. There is a huge market in the States that travel with pets. According to a recent study by the (US) Travel Industry Association, nearly 65 percent of Americans reported traveling with their pets and a whooping 29 percent of them stayed in a hotel or motel.

In America this month, Motel 6 with more than 1,000 properties across the United States, announced its partnership with the Cat Fanciers’ Association to offer registered cat owners a discounted price. Can you imagine a similar announcement by an accommodation chain in New Zealand?

In New Zealand it is an accepted that the majority of commercial accommodation refuse to allow pets with the obvious exception to seeing/hearing guide dogs. However the AA Accommodation Guide, lists over 70 properties that offer "pets by arrangement". A quick scan of the properties that offer this service indicate to me are probably not the most desirable accommodation options available. In fact it could be argued that any directory of accommodation that advertises "pets by arrangement" could be used as an indication of where not to stay!

So, whats wrong with pets staying in motels etc in New Zealand? There is a school of thought that pets are probably a more desirable guest than most children and some adults! This is a strong argument. However there are genuine concerns about allergies, pet hair and hygiene. In our opinion the major concern is that the majority of guests that choose to stay in commercial accommodation of a reasonable standard are more comfortable in the knowledge that animals were not housed in the same unit before them.

As demonstrated in America, there is obviously a large "guest with pet" market potential and as the guest market shrinks, it will be interesting to see if more commercial accommodation operators will offer "pets by arrangement" - we won't be one of them.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Voila! Motel Broadband

Hervé Thevenon is a computer geek that in 2004 took a bold move and packed up his family to immigrate from France to New Zealand for a better life.

In his job working for a multinational technology company, Hervé traveled extensively around New Zealand and prefered to stay in motels. He soon became aware that most properties did not offer wireless broadband. Those that did, offered a service that was inconsistant, insecure and not user friendly.

What started as a self interest desire to have wireless broadband available at his accommodation of choice, developed into using his skills to design an easy to use wireless broadband solution for motels.

Voilà® was born in 2005 and was the first alternate branded Wi-Fi service in New Zealand. Today the Voilà® wireless broadband service is offered in more motels throughout the country than any other comaprable service.

Hervé is a director of Imezio Ltd, he holds the French equivalent of a Master’s Degree in Computer Sciences and has worked in several multinational IT and telecommunications companies while living in Europe.

Hervé is not resting on his laurels. He is working on several projects, including new devices and services for the accommodation sector and complete IT systems for SMBs. Watch this space!

We are impressed by Hervé's passion for life and the contribution he has made to the motel industry. Hervé has kindly agreed to contribute to this blog:
Statistics NZ says real broadband Internet is still a luxury in New Zealand (1). Stats splits Internet access in two families: dial-up and the rest, including broadband (i.e. ADSL), satellite, 3G mobile. 3G mobile is the service many “road warriors” use to connect their laptops to home base when out of the office.
"3G" mobile services are far from being a threat for ADSL. This is because coverage and speed are not sufficient for a cost that is more expensive than broadband (2)(3). For example, outside the five main centres the speed of the communication will drop down to dial-up speed with the same unreliability. Services like Voila® aim to bridge this gap: the service the users get is very similar to what they get in their own office. They can do business in much the same way. Actually many of the road warriors mentioned earlier on, do use services like Voilà® every time they have the opportunity to do so.

Putting this another way, motels who put their guests on reliable access to high speed Internet are actually helping our country’s economy.

Every major Hotel in NZ makes guests pay dearly for broadband Internet and harvests a fortune every year. In contrast, more and more moteliers give away this rare and expensive resource. Is it to attract more guests? It sounds to me the recipe doesn’t work as we know that the motel industry has lost a share of the accommodation market. At Imezio, we have worked out that the motel industry has lost over $5 million of profit margin from basic Wi-Fi services in 2008, and is geared to lose another $7.5 million (to the very least) in 2009.

Also, internet services quality is very inconsistent from a property to another. This includes differences between various members of the "chains". Ease of use for the guests, tariffs, quality of the installation, maintenance: the end user experience varies between expensive crap, crap for free, expensive quality, quality for free.

No wonder Voilà® premises enjoy a growing number of returning guests across the country: we provide a predictable experience!

Our company, as a member of the "MANZ alliance", keeps MANZ regularly informed of those two growing concerns. We believe the spearhead of the moteliers "alliance" should provide guidance to their members, based on facts and figures about the quality and returns of the wireless solutions currently available on the market. We do not understand the policy that has been applied so far, to equally promote dramatically different services in terms of quality and return on investment.

Speaking of Alliances, Voilà® is present in nearly 15% of the Host Accommodation group. Without any kind of alliance between both organisations, that is quite a remarkable meeting of minds. Our reasonable pricing is publicly available on our web site (5) and doesn't deter the guests. The number of guests using Voilà® at each property has increased by 52% over 2008. More over, a recent survey has shown that the most successful properties are actually selling at the recommended retail price, not less!

How was our trade in January and what about the economic downturn? Slightly lower than last year, but December and January were higher, and February looks absolutely terrific! The same pattern happened two years ago. At this point we rather believe in a slight shift of the business pattern, rather than in a slow down of the trade - although I can only talk about the premises using Voilà®.






Check-out the Voilà® webpage to view the network of motels that offer wireless broadnad.

You may contact Hervé by email:

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Great Kiwi Easter Shut-Down

After an indifferent start to the year, it would appear that motels are eagerly anticipating a busy Easter. Kiwis will be soon escaping familiar surrounds and having a well deserved break before their traditional Winter hibernation.

In these recessionary times, businesses must make the most of all opportunities. However, the draconian Easter shop trading laws and the Holidays Act presents unnecessary barriers for businesses and consumers that have the will to trade, but are unable to do so.

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

David Farrar on his popular Kiwiblog, has his annual rant on Easter trading:

I doubt there is any law as inconsistent and illogical as our
current Easter shop trading laws.

Let us start with the fact this law bans employees from being able
to earn extra money. We’re in a recession and times are tough. A shop
assistant could earn say an extra $450 if they were allowed to work this
Friday and Sunday. That would be enough money so they could then actually afford a holiday later in the year.

Then let us look at the fact Easter Sunday is not a public holiday.
We have a law that bans you from being able to work on a day which is not even a public holiday. It is simply a religious day. Easter Monday is a public holiday and you are allowed to work that day, but in most cases not on Easter Sunday.

Some may claim the law allows people the weekend off. Apart from
the fact that the law removes any choice from employees, it does not. People can be forced to work on Easter Saturday. Would it not be far superior to say have a law that says no employee (except essential services) can be forced to work over the four Easter days, but that they can do so if they wish. As present they can be forced to work on at least one of those days, and have no choice about working the other two.

Then we have the anomalies. Where do you start. How about a four
square can not open but a Star Mart can? How about the fact a souvenir shop can open but a gift shop can not? And the garden centre amendment that allowed them to open on Easter Sunday, but not Good Friday?
And that is before we even deal with regional anomalies. Shops in Queenstown can open, but not Wanaka. Taupo is okay, but not Rotorua.

The law is a mess. It is anti-worker and anti-choice. We have a law
that stops many workers from being able to earn extra money - some of it as holiday and penal rates. It is nothing to do with protecting workers - it is about compelling them. Workers already have protection from being forced to work on protected days under the Act:

No worker shall be required to work on a protected day or at night.
No undue influence shall be applied to any worker in an attempt to induce that worker to agree to work on a protected day or at night. No action shall be taken to discriminate against or disadvantage any worker not wishing to work on a protected day or at night.

Now again Easter Sunday is not a public holiday. It is a religious
day. Removing from workers the ability to choose to work that day (if their employers wish to open) does not guarantee them Easter off - they can be forced to work Easter Saturday.

Rotorua MP Todd McClay has a private members bill that is a small
step forward. It allows local communities to decide whether or not shops can open on Easter Sunday. Hopefully Parliament will do the right thing and not cave into to the unholy alliance between the religious right and the union left.

Source: Click HERE

Motels Take Another Hit!

Moteliers looking for some inspiration please look away now!

Statistics New Zealand have released the Accommodation Survey for February 2009 and it is not pleasant reading. The "highlights" are as follows:

Total guest nights in short-term commercial accommodation have dropped by 8 percent decrease compared with February 2008.

In February 2009, all 12 regions recorded fewer guest nights than in February 2008, with the following regions showing the largest decreases:

• Otago (down 49,000 or 10 percent)
• Auckland (down 43,000 or 8 percent)
• Bay of Plenty (down 36,000 or 11 percent).

This is the first month since June 2006 in which all 12 regions have recorded fewer guest nights than in the same month of the previous year. On that occasion, the June 2005 figures had been boosted by the British and Irish Lions rugby tour.

International guest nights were 13 percent lower and domestic guest nights were 2 percent lower.

Guest nights decreased for all five accommodation types compared with February 2008. The accommodation types showing the largest decreases were:

• Motels, down 109,000 (10 percent)
• Hotels, down 102,000 (9 percent)
• Caravan parks/camping grounds, down 42,000 (5 percent).

In February 2009, motels and hotels had the largest share of total guest nights (each with 31percent), followed by caravan parks/camping grounds (22 percent).

February is traditionally the peak month for occupancy rates each year. In February 2009, the occupancy rate, excluding caravan parks/camping grounds, was 62 percent, compared with 66 percent in February 2008. This is the lowest occupancy rate in a February month since February1999.

Hotels had the highest occupancy rate (68 percent) of all the accommodation types in February 2009, followed by motels (64 percent) and backpackers/hostels (57 percent).

Excluding the caravan parks/camping grounds category, all 12 regions had lower occupancy rates in February 2009 than in February 2008.

Auckland had the highest occupancy rate (71 percent), followed by Wellington (68 percent) and Nelson/Marlborough/Tasman (67 percent).

Source: Click HERE

Flatulence in motel room

Moteliers know that people do the darnedest things when they are in the confines of a motel room, away from the familiarity of home.

Associated Press

8 April 2009

WACO — Waco police say a fight over flatulence left one man stabbed and another facing an assault charge.

A statement today says police were called to a motel where several men from the Houston area were sharing a room.

Police say 35-year-old Juan Antonio Salano Castellano allegedly passed gas in the room Tuesday night.

Police say one of the other men became upset, picked up a knife and threw it at Castellano, who was cut in the leg. The suspect is accused of then stabbing Catellano in the chest.

Castellano was transported to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, where police say he was treated for non-life threatening wounds.

The alleged attacker was arrested and faces an aggravated assault charge.

Source: Click HERE

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Where the bloody hell are you...?

Hat tip to Whaleoil that has uncovered a leaked secret Australia Tourism Board ad:

Monday, April 6, 2009

Caravan Mayhem!

As Easter fast approaches, the enlightened members of the public will be driving their cars between motels and not clogging up the roads with dingy mean-spirited caravans.

At "Motella" we are not completely self-serving and are happy to demonstrate a caravan activity that we thoroughly approve of:

Accommodation and travel spending dips

The time lag of 6-weeks for the Commercial Accommodation Survey can be frustrating when trying to establish what is happening in the accommodation market place. Without hard data, we suspect that February and March '09 will prove to be fairly unspectacular for the motel industry.

The spending analysis from Paymark for March '09 would indicate that Kiwis are not planning ahead with travel plans. This is not all bad news for the motel industry. Overseas travel often requires upfront payment, unlike domestic travel where most people pay as they go. For the motel industry where over 70% of guest nights are domestic, Kiwis that holiday overseas is: BAD. Kiwis that holiday at home: GOOD.

We get the feeling that the domestic leisure market will be using Easter this April to burn plenty of carbon to enjoy the freedom of the great Kiwi road trip - we say bring it on!

We anticipate that many Kiwis will be breaking the overseas holiday cycle to rediscover their own country again. Motels will be hosting many of these travelers and hopefully Easter will be a springboard for several holidays taken by the average Kiwi in their homeland this year.

6 April 2009
Article: Businesswire

Spending on accommodation and travel fell in March, a month when New Zealanders typically book winter holidays, suggesting people are deferring plans in the face of the ongoing recession.

Travel spending fell 14% last month, while spending on accommodation declined 8%, based on electronic transaction processed by Paymark. Total Paymark transactions rose 1.5% from a year earlier, though March 2008 included Easter and adjusting for that, spending fell.

“What we have seen in the last month is that travel-related sales are down 14% which suggests New Zealanders are foregoing their holiday plans or travelling locally,” said Simon Tong, Paymark chief executive.

Source: Click HERE

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Lorraine Motel

Haunting pictures have been recently discovered that captures the moments after Martin Luther King was assassinated outside room 306 the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.

The photographs were taken shortly after the shooting, have remarkably only just seen the light of day after 41 years and can be viewed in Life magazine HERE.

The Lorraine Motel is located in the depressed downtown area of Houston. The motel built in 1925 was one of a few accommodation places that accepted African American travelers where King stayed in 1968. The motel has been preserved and enveloped in a much larger building that has become the National Civil Rights Movement Museum.

Their website is very impressive and can be viewed HERE (Just ignore the ObamaMessiah references)

I think I would rather visit the Lorraine Motel than visit the shrine to the "Fat-Elvis" years at Gracelands that is located only a few miles away.

"Hot Sheet" Motels

Click on the video link HERE

We like the phrase "Hot Sheet Motel" that is commonly used in the United States to describe seedy motels that are a hangout for drug dealers and prostitution.

As the economic crisis bites, there appears to be a proliferation of "Hot Sheet Motels" plying for trade in the US.

Thankfully, we simply do not have this problem in New Zealand.

The NZ government appears to have cornered this market by providing state-houses to those that wish to engage in alternative lifestyles. Even if motels wanted to speacialise in long-term dodgy tenants, the competition from Housing NZ would make this economically unsustainable.


A southeast Houston neighborhood and the city of Houston are celebrating a victory. They worked together to get rid of a motel they say became a haven for criminals.

Since we first reported this story, we've learned new details about a civil suit against the motel. It's located on Livingston in the Sunnyside community.

It is a rarely used law that stemmed from this lawsuit. The city says they filed the lawsuit because they wanted to put an end to a seedy motel that had been a haven from criminals in that neighborhood.

The El Rondo Motel has never been the kind of neighbor Alberta Nelson wanted to have.

"I'll be 70 years old this year. You don't get no rest, no sleep. Jumping up and looking out the window at night. I'm tired of this," said Nelson.

For years, the motel has rented rooms by the hour and according to the city of Houston, it became a de facto haven for prostitutes and drug dealers. So in an unprecedented move, the city filed a lawsuit against the motel.

The city's attorney argued in court that the motel's owners did little to curb the illegal activity on its property.

"You're not just tolerating prostitution, you're insisting on it, you're implicit in the crime," said city attorney Garland Murphy.

Attorneys for the owner of the motel, the Patel family, insisted it's only guilty of trying to pursue the American dream. It's a tough defense especially after Mayor Bill White attended the closing arguments to show support for the case.

"I'm trying to shut down private businesses if they violate the law," said Mayor White.
In the end, it would take the jury less than an hour to come back with a verdict that the motel is indeed a public nuisance.

"It's very devastating for them, this is a family that's come here from India try to build their American dream, and it's been taken away from them," said J. Beverly, the motel owner's attorney.
The motel will most likely be shut down and the city says it hopes this is just the first of many victories.

"People were propositioned, the prostitution, the drugs. If we're able to get a verdict that will allow us to do something, then it's a great tool for the city of Houston, a great day," said city attorney Arturo Michel.
The city of Houston has two other ongoing lawsuits against two other hotels in the city with similar allegations.

Source: Click HERE

Check out the El Rondo Lodge in Google Street View - nice!!

View Larger Map

Easter travel plans not hurt by economy

When it comes to the current economic recession, it appears Kiwis are less inclined to reign in their spend when looking at their upcoming Easter holiday plans.

A recent survey by Jasons Travel Media ( revealed that over 80% of Kiwis intend spending the same or more on their travel this Easter than last year, and a whopping 41% intend spending more than last year. “While people are clearly tightening their belts in the current financial climate which is evident in the retail sector, it appears everyone still wants a holiday at Easter and a good one at that.” says Matthew Mayne, CEO of Jasons Travel Media.

“While people flocked to camping grounds over Waitangi weekend, it seems for the Easter weekend many Kiwis are looking at going to a different market due to the colder weather and paying for a motel.” Matthew says. After staying with family and friends, motels were easily the most popular intended accommodation for respondents, followed by camping grounds and baches.

Interestingly, the majority of the survey respondents were women, emphasising yet again that females tend to manage the holiday planning process in many New Zealand families, which is great news for the tourism industry.

Over 1,200 Kiwis participated in the online survey on the Jasons website which asked about their Easter holiday plans.

Jasons Travel Media runs New Zealand’s online booking website which in March received over 200,000 unique users.

Source: Click HERE

Saturday, April 4, 2009

RMA Reform

The accommodation and tourism industry have a vested interest in the proposed reforms to the Resource Management Act, now under consideration by a parliamentary select committee.

The Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) appear to wringing its hands over mystical environmental concerns and the rights of busy-body objectors rather than focus on the freedom of its members to develop their own private property.

Ideally, the right of recourse over pollution or nuisance by neighbours should be covered by common law. If we must have a complicated bureaucracy of checks and balances in the form of a tinkered RMA, then as a minimum standard, an owner's property rights must be embedded at the core of the legislation.

3 April 2009
Press Release: Tourism Industry Association

Balance needed in RMA Reform, tourism industry says

Effective environmental management is vital to the continuing success of New Zealand’s tourism industry but the current workings of the Resource Management Act (RMA) must be improved, the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) says.

In its submission to the Resource Management (Simplifying and Streamlining) Amendment Bill, TIA says the reforms must find the right balance between preserving the environment and allowing sustainable economic development to occur. “Tourism is one of only a handful of industries in New Zealand that is almost wholly dependent on the environment for its success,” TIA Chief Executive Tim Cossar says.

“Our scenery and landscapes form the basis of the 100% Pure marketing positioning that has been used so successfully overseas. But the RMA strongly impacts on many tourism businesses and TIA members are clear that they want improvements to reduce costs, time and delays in getting resource consent.”

People must continue to be allowed to raise valid objections about resource consent applications on environmental grounds, but stricter criteria is needed to cut down on frivolous or vexatious objections, Mr Cossar says.

“We have concerns about the proposals to limit the ability of trade competitors to take part in the resource consent process. While this has been abused in the past, in some cases tourism operators may have legitimate environmental concerns about applications made by a competitor. We want to ensure freedom of speech is protected.”

“The proposal to significantly increase penalties for breaking the law is also of concern. While we agree with the need for a penalty regime, we want to ensure that penalties imposed on tourism operators who may in some cases inadvertently fail to comply with the law do not put those operators out of business,” he added.
TIA has also called for improved training for local authority staff and others responsible for administering the RMA. This would contribute to efficiency and cost reduction.

The submission includes comments from tourism operators about their experiences of the RMA, highlighting the evenly divided views between those who regard it as hindering development and those who see it as protecting the environment.

“There is a strong view that while the guiding principles of the RMA are sound, the Act has caused significant costs and delays to some legitimate tourism projects that could have delivered sustainable returns to New Zealand’s economy,” Mr Cossar says. “We are asking the Local Government and Environment Select Committee to carefully consider how the Act’s objectives can be best achieved.”

A full copy of the TIA submission is available: HERE.

Source: Click HERE

Friday, April 3, 2009

Fush n Chups

I have enjoyed the recent media coverage about Aussie expats who have upset some panty-wetting, over-sensitive Kiwis by comments made on their blog:

Right off the bat we have to tell you that we love their blog!

These cheeky Tasmanians that immigrated to New Zealand have been widely reported in the media as berating Kiwis as bad dressers, have rubbished the biggest city Auckland as "soulless and horrible" and have said the tourist town of Rotorua "absolutely stinks". Who can argue with that!

They also claim pavlova and Phar Lap for Australia, say the beer and meat pies are bad, and describes New Zealanders as "little hobbits in the Shire"...maybe we can argue with that!

What the blog has exposed is that some vocal New Zealanders are too precious, humourless and take themselves too seriously. Anal retentive Kiwis have embarrassed themselves by berating this blog and exposing their own insecurities for all to see. Typically, our tourism bureaucracies have been sucked-in and have played victim by joining the chorus of whining in the media.

I am particularly amused that those dour critics within the tourism industry are unable to comprehend that this blog actually promotes New Zealand. Maybe they don't understand that not all promotion requires a committee and public funding!

Anyone that has taken time to read the blog would quickly learn that these Ozzie scalawags have a great sense of humour, are taking the p*ss and are actually loving their new homeland.

I suggest that the intellegent readers of this blog go to and give our Ozzie cuzzies a bit of friendly trans-tasman stick!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Motel Toilet Paper 2 - The Great Debate Solved

At Motella we tackle the big questions.

After receiving several witty emails about our last post on the toilet paper "V" we thought that we would stay on-topic.

The great debate has raged in households for over 150 years - which way should you hang the toilet paper? Is it against the wall or away from the wall?

Well dear readers, right from the outset we can share with you the correct answer that is well known by accommodation providers worldwide.

It's away from the wall, stupid !
Why is that I hear you ask? - Well for a whole host of reasons. These include hygiene, ascetics and ease of use.

For those that are not easily convinced, we have harnessed the power of SCIENCE, to demonstrate the "ease of use" benefits of the over hanging method.

First, we examine the optimal viewing benefits of the over hanging method. Notice in the diagram above the dramatic difference in the amount of visible toilet paper.

After extensive study, we have identified the contact points at both hanging methods for that all important "one-handed tear maneuver"

The natural curve of the over-hung method allows the roll to stand fast after a one-handed tear, but the under-hung method creates a calamitous tendency that often leads to this:

So there it is - At last we can conclusively put that old argument to bed!

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