Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Name that Motel - Be The First In And Win!

A heart warming segment on tonight's Close Up program on TV1. A group of hard-case Chatham Islands woman head for Palmerston North for their 2-yearly mammogram check-up and always stay at the same motel.

The first person to name that motel will win a prize!
Watch the Close Up segment HERE

The Motel Vending Machine

A salesman checked into a futuristic motel. Realising he needed haircut before his meeting tomorrow, he called down to the desk clerk to ask if there was a barber on the premises.

'I'm afraid not, sir,' the clerk told him apologetically, 'but down the hall from your room is a vending machine that should serve your purposes.'

Skeptical but intrigued, the salesman located the machine, which had a sign that read, 'Haircuts $15'. The salesman inserted $15 and stuck his head into the opening, at which time the machine started to buzz and trim. Fifteen seconds later he pulled out his head and surveyed his reflection, which reflected the best haircut of his life.

Two feet away was another machine with a sign that read, Manicures $20.' 'Why not?' he thought... He paid the money, inserted his hands in the slot, and the machine started to buzz and spin. Fifteen seconds later He pulled his hands out and they were perfectly manicured.

The next machine had a sign that read, 'Machine provides a service men need when away from their wives, 50 cents'. He looked both ways, put 50 cents in the machine, unzipped his fly and with some anticipation, stuck his manhood into the opening.

When the machine started buzzing, he let out a shriek of agony and almost passed out. Fifteen seconds later it shut off.

With trembling hands, he was able to withdraw his member....which now had a button sewn neatly on the end.

Paperless Travel

Interesting video from CNN on paperless travel that we have already seen glimpses of in New Zealand.

Now if only they can figure out how to make cell phone batteries last longer.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Why Not Take a Political Quiz?

One of the many reasons that blogs are so popular is that most bloggers make it abundantly clear what their political allegiances are, while the popular media have a charade of appearing to be politically neutral.

With most blogs the reader generally knows what they are getting before they start reading and can choose reading material according to political bias.

For a bit of weekend homework why no take the Political Spectrum Quiz.

You can see results from other New Zealand bloggers here.

Motella's Political Views
A far-right social libertarian
Right: 8.16, Libertarian: 4.32

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Roar Prawn Rides Again

The folk at Roar Prawn turned off the lights at their popular blog after joining the public service and the slapping of hand-wringing pinkos and corrupt politicians was temporally put on hold.

We are pleased to report that the faithful bloggers of Busted Blond et al have resurrected their blog Roar Prawn and have invited us all to "climb aboard for the ride."

As they are still employed over at the "dark side" they maintain that their postings will be somewhat more restrained. Hmmmm, we'll see...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Growing up In The 70's Wasn't All That Bad

George Hickton is Goooone!

We predicted that George Hickton CEO of Tourism New Zealand would be gone by the end of the year in our post HERE.
"We predicted that there would be a necessary shakeup at Tourism NZ and in order for this to happen, Hickton needs to go. An industry insider has informed us that this will likely occur before the end of this year. Watch this space."
It has now been reported that George Hickton is to retire from his position as at 1 December this year. Hickton has been a popular face of Tourism New Zealand and has led through the last 10-years of positive growth.

A new face at the helm will need to direct the "freshening and reinvigorating" of the 100% Pure NZ and start to dismantle the institutionalised bureaucracy within Tourism New Zealand.

I my take a cursory look at my CV over the weekend!

HOST Accommodation shrugs off recession

As part of the preparation for the HOST Accommodation conference, Chris Lee - HOST Business Development Manager prepares himself to be launched from a ledge 175 metres above Mokai Gravity Canyon before racing down a 1-kilometre zip-line at speeds up to 160 kilometres per hour!

Group bonding at Mokai Gravity Canyon and interacting with the Tui Girls at the Tui Brewery at Mangatainoka were a few activities that were enjoyed by HOST moteliers at the HOST Conference last weekend.

HOST has cemented itself as New Zealand's most successful accommodation referral group. To attract over 50% of their members to a conference in Palmerston North in recessionary times AND in the middle of Winter is a remarkable feat.

Press Release
HOST Accommodation Group


HOST Accommodation shrugs off recession

While we are aware that other Hotel and Motel marketing groups are cutting back on annual gatherings, a record number of HOST Accommodation members gathered in Palmerston North for their annual conference.

Host Accommodation has a network of 80 member properties throughout New Zealand and it was remarkable that over half the membership made the journey to gather in Palmerston North for a weekend of networking, education and fun!

Organiser and Business Development Manager of Host Accommodation said "This was fantastic conference with some excellent guest speakers and enthusiasm created by the group. The future for Host Accommodation is very positive with the successful 12th Night Free Bonus programme continuing to drive business to our member properties. The momentum created and positive discussions held will no doubt generate more referrals and business throughout the group.

The Host Accommodation Group with its proactive marketing strategies and passionate membership are shrugging off the recession and looking forward to the future."

For further information, contact:
Chris Lee
Business Development Manager
Host Accommodation Group Inc.
P.O. Box 22
Hastings 4156
New Zealand
Freephone: 0508 91 92 93
Website: www.hostaccommodation.co.nz

The Internet in 1969

Love this!

Set the scene in 1969. The wife is tooling around doing some on-line shopping from her home video console. Meanwhile the husband is dutifully managing the family accounts on his more sophisticated console at work. "What the wife selects on her console can be paid for by the husband at his counterpart console."

After sighing at his wife's frivolous purchases, the husband then writes an important letter on his Home Post Office machine. Brilliant!

Hat tip: Avatar News

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wotif.com extend 5-day sale

Wotif.com has announced that it is extending its 5-Day Sale that is promoting New Zealand to Australian travellers.

The campaign that started on Monday 22nd June was to finish on Friday 26th June, however this has now been extended to run until 5pm (AEST) on the 30th June 2009.

Controversially amongst many accommodation providers, wotif's promotion was tariff focused by the requirement of operators to offer at least 50% off their rack rate.

Although the campaign was a call to action for accommodation providers to expose themselves to more Aussies, wotif have also been promoting the same deals to Kiwis that included a mass email to their customer base today.

We are curious to find out how successful the promotion has been so far and invite our dear readers to offer some comment.

Anti-Wainuiomata Motel in Forced Sale

Supreme Motor Lodge gave moteliers a valuable lesson in how not to deal with the media.

The story of the hapless motel owner has that placed a ban on the unfortunate inhabitants of Wainuiomata will simply not go away.

The latest story about part of the motel being offered for auction, allegedly for financial woes has managed to attract sneering comments from hypercritical MP, Trevor Mallard.

Mallard is the pinnacle of Labour's "do as I say" hypocrisy and is remembered by moteliers for making a prize dick of himself by attempting to claim his entitlement of a room at the Supreme Motor Lodge in Palmerston North. He cried foul at the motel owner for discriminating against the poor people of Wainuiomata and then promptly mocked the motelier's Australian heritage.

Mallard clearly does not believe in the rights of business owners to make decisions on how they run their own private business and who they choose to host on their private property.

His parting words as he was asked to leave the motel was that "all people that run motels should be made to do a Kiwi Host course."

The Manawatu Standard

A Palmerston North motor lodge that banned an entire town now has two of its villas for sale in a mortgagee auction.

Nine motel units at the Supreme Motor Lodge on Pioneer Highway will go to auction on Thursday.

The motor lodge made world headlines in April when it issued a blanket ban against guests from Wainuiomata because of damage the lodge linked with the town's people.

Wainuiomata Indoor Sports Centre owner/operator Kalena Hura said she wasn't surprised by the mortgagee auction.

Motor lodge management had slated the behaviour of guests from the centre before announcing the ban on the town of 16,000 people.

"They have themselves to blame. What goes around comes around," Mrs Hura said.

MP for the area, Trevor Mallard, who challenged the ban, said it demonstrated the motel had bad public relations and that it was managed poorly.

The Manawatu Standard suggested to motel owner Steve Donnelly and manager Malcolm Glen that people could link the Wainuiomata ban with the auction.

Both indicated unhappiness with previous media coverage of the controversy, and Mr Glen told the newspaper it could draw whatever link it wanted.

Mr Mallard was at the centre of a stunt for television programme Close Up in April, when he put the Wainuiomata ban to the test.

Mr Mallard, who hails from Wainuiomata, said yesterday his biggest fear was that he might actually have been obliged to stay the night at the lodge (if the policy wasn't enforced).

The motel's description of the manager as "Basil Fawlty" had ensured international attention, he said, and he wasn't surprised by the lodge's lack of comment yesterday.

"Their last foray into the world of publicity was not entirely successful," Mr Mallard said.

The Supreme Motor Lodge has provided accommodation in Palmerston North for more than 25 years.

Facilities were revamped in 2007, after a change of ownership. It is the largest motor lodge motel in Palmerston North, with 47 rooms and seven private courtyards, according to the lodge's website. Public auction of the two villas is on Thursday, 1pm.

Harcourts Palmerston North owner Stuart Pescini said it was unusual for part of a facility to be put up for mortgagee sale, but it did happen.

The two villas would be sold independently.

Mr Mallard said Wainuiomata's Parklands Motel was doing well.

"People from Palmerston North are certainly welcome."


December, 2008: Students from Wainuiomata High School are turfed out of the lodge just two days into a four-day stay, while playing in a national touch tournament. A dozen students trashed their rooms and teachers did not pull them into line, Supreme Motor Lodge manager Malcolm Glen said.
March, 2009: Wainuiomata Indoor Sports Centre members come to Palmerston North for a national indoor netball tournament. The team's visitors played loud music in their cars at night and when asked to turn it down, staff were told to "piss off", Mr Glen said.
April, 2009: Police Central District commander Russell Gibson says he is embarrassed by a delay in police action after teenage boys trashed a motel room. The lodge bans guests from Wainuiomata.
June, 2009: Two villas at the Supreme Motor Lodge are for sale in a mortgagee auction.

Source: Click HERE

Watch Trevor Mallard exit the house yesterday to get in touch with his anger management councilor:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Accommodation Industry Jargon

I love jargon and the accommodation industry has it's own unique language.

The use of industry specific jargon gives the user an air of superiority, loftiness and self-importance so I suggest that you try and use at least a few of the following terms over the next week:

ADR Average Daily Rate.

Allocation A block booking of rooms by an operator or agent who can then call on that allocation without having to keep re-checking availability, until a specified release date.

ARR Average Room Rate. Gross Rooms Revenue divided by the total number of rooms occupied.

B&B Bed & Breakfast A rate which includes breakfast.

Bays Often the number of guest rooms, but this differs from Keys because a suite with a bedroom and sitting room is counted as one key but two bays.

Comp Complimentary stay.

Cookie cutter Slightly derogatory description of the approach of some hotel chains to achieve uniformity across all their hotels so that they all look alike.

Corporate Rate A reduced price for guests staying on business.

Cover Each guest in food and beverage.

CRO Central Reservations Office - A sales centre which handles bookings on behalf of the accommodation provider.

CRS Computerised Reservations System (the computer network through which the products and services of travel companies are booked).

DBB Dinner, Bed and Breakfast.

European Plan Room Only.

Familiarisation tour Free or reduced rate trip, usually for tour operators, travel agents or journalists, so they can experience a destination or tourism product first hand and then promote it.

FIT Free and Independent Travel(ler) - Individual travel not in a group or through a tour operator.

Folio A guest’s account which is kept by reception and which indicates all charges and payments.

GDS Global Distribution System.

House Count The occupancy at any given time of day.

Keys The number of guest rooms (measured by the number of keys). See also Bays.

MLOS Minimum Length of Stay.

Net Rate A wholesale rate to be marked up by the Wholesaler before being offered to the ultimate customer at a higher rate.

No show A guest with a reservation who fails to arrive.

Option Date The deadline by which payment of the deposit must be made or the room will no longer be held.

Override Extra commission paid by a supplier as a sales incentive (also known as Oversale).

Paid out An amount included on a guest bill for an expense which the accommodation provider has paid for the guest and passes on, for example taxis or theatre tickets.

Pax Passengers.

PMS Property Management System.

Positive space A confirmed reservation.

Rack Rate The standard published rate for a room before any discounts are applied (also known as the Walk-in rate).

RevPAR Rooms Revenue Per Available Room - Gross Rooms Revenue divided by the number of rooms (which also equals the Average Daily Rate multiplied by the Occupancy) - a benchmark for measuring the performance of commercial accommodation. Note that although the Uniform System stipulates using Gross Rooms Revenue, some statistics use Gross Revenue (see “Total RevPAR”).

ROH Run of the House - On arrival, guest will get any room available.

Snagging List List of items (usually minor defects) that need to be completed after a commercial accommodation operation has opened (also called a punch list).

Spotter A professional hired to pose as a guest to assess and evaluate staff, amenities and services.

Stayover A guest extending his/her stay beyond the original departure date.

Total RevPAR Total Revenue per Available Room. This is distinct from RevPAR which is based only on Rooms Revenue.

Upgrade Where a guest is given a higher priced room at no extra charge above the original confirmed rate.

Upsell Where a guest is given a higher priced room with a corresponding rate increase agreed by the guest.

VFR Visiting Friends and Relatives.

Walk In Guest that arrives with no reservation.

Walking a guest A term to describe transferring a guest to another property due to overselling.

Walk-in rate See Rack Rate.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Sad Motel Industry Loss

Moteliers are mourning the sad death on June 17 of an American motel industry icon, John Houghtaling aged 92.

Who was John Houghtaling?!?

Well, he was the man who made the earth move for millions of motel guests with his ingenious invention, the Magic Fingers vibrating bed machine. For a mere 25 cents inserted into an inconspicuous metal box screwed to the bedside table, guests could be spirited away by a vibrating rocking motion of their motel bed.

In 15 minute sessions of therapeutic pleasure, guests were able to forget that they were booked into a cheap motel. However others that used the vibrations as a giant sex toy with the partner of their choice, may have been focused on other endeavours.

The Magic fingers device was marketed under the slogan, "It quickly takes you into the land of tingling and relaxation and ease." In the early 1960's, Magic Fingers could be found in 250,000 motel rooms across America and a few of these devices made their way to New Zealand.

Inevitably the fad of Magic Fingers slowly waned and the businesses was sold in 1980. Magic Fingers lives on with a new focus on home consumers.

Mr Houghtaling, you have left a tacky, kinky and fun motel legacy that is now a distant memory. We salute you!

Monday, June 22, 2009

We're back live!

Hey, we are back live!

We have wrenched ourselves from the safety of the digital world and spent the last week mixing and mingling with our fellow "motellas."

When you live and work in the same environment it is invaluable to get out, recharge and try to reinvent some small part of your business.

As always there will be a small orderly pile of unfinished business awaiting for us upon our return, but normal service will resume shortly.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Parody of a Motel Guy

Mikey Havoc does a parody of a sad motel guy from a "Havoc and Newsboy" series a few years ago.

I must admit that his motel guy character reminds me of a motelier from the Waikato I used to know - Right down to the tacky baseball cap, 70's button down shirt, stubbies and jandles.

With this aside, is this how other people outside the motel industry view moteliers?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Accommodation Providers Hit By Costly Prank Calls

The American Hotel & Lodgeing Association (AH&LA) are warning their members to be vigilant of prank calls that encourage accommodation providers or their guests to set off fire sprinklers, fire alarms or smash windows.

A prank that targets commercial accommodation appears to be some sort of viral joke that has been spreading about the USA for the last several months. See our post

While we are not aware of any incidences here in New Zealand, there appears to be a prank craze popular with youth culture at the moment.

Here's hoping that New Zealand can avoid having any similar incidences.


(AP) — The calls have all been similar pranks: A frantic man urges hotel desk workers or guests to set off a fire sprinkler, sound an alarm or bust windows. It's always the same: Do it now!

And, authorities said Thursday, they did. Eight cases have been reported in four states in recent days, and authorities say felony charges could be filed against whoever is making the calls.

In Alabama, a Marine roused from his sleep got "knocked silly" by a blast of water after being persuaded to set off the sprinkler in his room; there was no fire.

A motel in Arkansas sustained $50,000 in damage when a worker fell for a similar ruse.

A man was even convinced to drive his truck through a door of a hotel lobby in Nebraska, supposedly to turn off a fire alarm. And in California, a duped worker activated a sprinkler at the front desk, dousing computers, phones and other electrical equipment.

"It's happening all over," said Fire Marshal Ed Paulk of Alabama, where four hotels have been targeted by the calls since last week, resulting in thousands of dollars in damage. "We're actively trying to track this and find out who is doing this."

The general manager of a Comfort Suites in Daphne near the Alabama coast, Rupesh Desai, said a prank call about a fire alarm resulted in $10,000 in water damage last Friday.

Around the same time, he said, a caller convinced guests to bust windows at a sister hotel in Saraland, about 25 miles away, because of a natural gas leak that didn't exist.

"In my hotel experience I've never heard of anything like this," Desai said.

Trying to prevent more people from being fooled, trade groups are telling member companies and hotels to remind workers about basic emergency procedures like calling managers or security companies before doing anything drastic like setting off fire suppression sprinklers.

"No employees should be doing things like this without checking with someone," said Namara Mercer, executive director of the San Diego County Hotel-Motel Association in San Diego, Calif.
Paulk said investigators suspect more than one person is behind the calls, and some could be inspired by Internet sites about phone pranks.

In York, Neb., Police Chief Don Klug said a man with a deep voice phoned a Hampton Inn around midnight on May 27 and scared a desk worker into pulling a fire alarm. During the confusion, the caller then convinced the worker the only way to silence the noise was to break lobby windows.

"A trucker was standing there, and he offered to help and drove his truck through the front door," said Klug. The damage was estimated at $300, he said.

Desai, the Alabama hotel manager, said seven rooms were flooded when a caller got the sleeping Marine to set off the sprinkler in his room.

"He was knocked silly by the force of the water," said Desai. "He was not a dummy, he just woke up in the middle of the night not realizing what was going on."

Six other guests also got the calls but did nothing, he said.

A couple hours later in San Luis Obispo, Calif., a worker caused major damage by following a caller's instructions to activate a sprinkler at the front desk of a Comfort Inn and Suites.

And in Conway, Ark., a caller convinced a worker at a Holiday Inn Express to set off an audible fire alarm and, with help from a guest, broke windows in an attempt to turn it off. She also was duped into turning on a sprinkler, flooding the lobby and causing major damage; about 150 guests were in the parking lot when police arrived.

A Holiday Inn Express in Little Rock, Ark., got a similar call around the same time, a police report said, but no one fell for the prank there.

The Alabama fire marshall said whoever's making the calls could face jail time.

"It's gotten to be the latest fad, but at some point someone is going to be caught," he said.

Source: Click HERE

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

8-year-old finds porn on hotel TV

I was amused with this news story over the weekend.

A family checks into a hotel and when the parents backs were turned, little 8-year old dexterously runs his fingers over the TV remote and is confronted by hard-core porn. Ooops!

Interesting situation here. Should the hotel have taken steps to either warn or offer to disable the adult channel, knowing that a family were checking-in? Or should the parents assume responsibility and watch their kids more closely. After all, who would be to blame if the parents turned their back and little 8-year old was getting stuck into the mini-bar?

Most hotels seem to offer adult pay movies. Why do they do this? Simply, because their guests demand it AND it generates huge profits! It has been reported that up to 50% of the hotel guests purchase the material and it is estimated that between 70 -80% of the hotel's in-room profit come from adult movie viewing. Adult movie viewing easily outstrips profits from those pesky mini-bars.

So what have we learnt from this? Well... the family should have booked into a motel!

The Dominion Post

A Wanganui family say their eight-year-old son "lost a part of his innocence" when he stumbled across hardcore pornography while they stayed in a Wellington hotel.

The Ander family are criticising the hospitality industry for what they call the ready availability of porn.
But an industry spokesman says pornography is hard to access without intention and the complaint is a first.
Gavin Ander, wife Katherine and their seven children were in Wellington for a wedding last month when the incident happened.

Mr Ander said he was parking his car and his wife was bringing bags into one of the rooms when son Bjorn, 8, grabbed the remote and turned on the television.

By the time Mrs Ander came out about 10 seconds later, graphic and "disgusting" pornography was on the screen, he said.

"She turned if off, she was in tears and went down to reception. They said, `Yeah, it's on by default."'

If Bjorn had to press numerous buttons to access the pornography, "he must have gone through them pretty damn fast".

Mr Ander said it felt as if the family had been robbed. Bjorn had "lost a part of his innocence".

He refused to name the hotel, saying the problem was bigger than one outfit.

"I blame the industry because they're all doing it ... I would like it to be that you have to ask for it, you have to solicit it. At the moment, it's unsolicited."

Hospitality Association chief executive Bruce Robertson said a standard hotel television would not be set to pornographic movie. "You can't just get there by clicking on the television."

The family's complaint was the first he had heard. "This is far from a widespread problem."

Movielink, a subsidiary of Sky Television, provided the movies to the hotel.

Sky spokesman Tony O'Brien said people had to go through numerous steps before pornography could be accessed.

Source: Click HERE

Monday, June 15, 2009

Labour's Plan For The Tourism Industry?

We showcased Kelvin Davis that is shadowing PM, John Key in the Tourism portfolio in our post HERE.

Labour MP, Mr Davis has prepared for the cut and thrust of his role as tourism spokesman by his previous career.... as a school teacher and is devoid of any practical business experience. As usual with Labour MP's, Davis enjoys telling others what to do and has yet to step outside the security blanket of state funding.

Mr Davis has yet to share with the nation his vision for the tourism industry other than some previously ambiguous comment about elevating the mysticism of Maori culture.

One thing that Mr Davis has managed to tap into very early in his political career is that by simply promising more taxpayer funding without qualification will be met with a positive reaction from our tourism leaders.

It will be interesting to learn what Labour's alternative plan is for the tourism industry.

12 June 2009
Press Release: New Zealand Labour Party

The recipe according to John Key: Build something and the tourists will flock to see it!

Tourism Minister John Key is suffering from the naïve delusion that if he builds something, tourists will flock to New Zealand to see it, says Labour Tourism spokesperson Kelvin Davis.

“First there was the national cycleway and now it's a Rugby World Cup facelift for Jellicoe St in Auckland,” Kelvin Davis said.

"There's little argument that a facelift for the waterfront will be an asset for Auckland, and will be a fun focal point for the Rugby World Cup party, but does anyone seriously believe potential tourists will think to themselves, ‘ "wow, the New Zealand Government has done up Jellicoe St , we've got to visit there!’"

Kelvin Davis said not one single tourist will visit New Zealand because of “a burning urge to walk along a revamped Jellicoe Street.

“More importantly, there is no spin-off to a single tourism operator outside of the Auckland CBD.

“I've just spent two days at the TRENZ Conference showcasing the very best of New Zealand's tourism industry. The vast majority of the country's operators will be gutted that there's nothing in what Mr Key said yesterday that will attract more tourists to New Zealand,” Kelvin Davis said.

"Mr Key failed to meet the industry’s expectations. Everyone I spoke to at TRENZ was adamant about one thing. We need to increase our marketing so that we maintain our profile in international and domestic markets.

"The equation is quite simple. The tourism industry and the country need more people to spend more time and money on holiday in New Zealand.

“Tourism is a recession buster and returns are almost immediate.”

Source: Click HERE

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Jasons Profit Announcement

Less demand for advertising in local visitor maps and guides, along with the launch of several new publication, has seen Jasons Travel Media post an 18% drop in profit for the year.

Thanks largely to the launch of several new publications, the company lifted revenues by 2.4% to $13.98 million for the year ending 31 March, but costs associated with those new activities also helped drag profit after tax down by 17.9% to $806,000.

This is still slightly better than the profit forecast issued by Jasons last month, when it said after-tax profit would fall from $982,000 a year ago to $787,000.

However, this was still below earlier projections, with the media company blaming the economic climate for its dour performance.

But with the company putting a lot of faith into new publications launched in the second half which have not yet reached targeted revenues, chief executive Matthew Mayne says the next year should be more stable.
"We have taken a conservative approach to forecasting revenues for peripheral products and local visitor guides. Some uncertainty remains around the short-term prospects for the tourism sector. However, with the benefit of a full year's contribution from last year's acquisitions and other new products, we expect to match the 2009 result.”

He says Jasons is building market share in a glum situation and is also exploring expansion opportunities in the Australian market.

“Australia continues to be the largest source market for visitors to New Zealand and the most significant destination for New Zealanders."

In the past year, Jasons has launched new tourism related publications in Christchurch, Rotorua and Auckland, and has also acquired tourism brochure distribution businesses in Rotorua and Northland.

As it is physically impossible for any company to reveal results without shifting a little blame on to the general economic climate, chairman Geoff Burns says lower than expected revenues were unavoidable due to a reduction in demand for advertising in smaller publications, particularly some local visitor maps and guides.

A fully-imputed final dividend of 2.24 cents at the end of next month, maintaining the annual dividend at last year’s level.

Source: Click HERE

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Expose Yourself To More Aussies

Bring on the Aussies!

Wotif.com is calling upon its accommodation suppliers to expose themselves to more Aussies.

Australia seems to be a market that is seen by most in the tourism industry as an attractive target for offshore tourism promotion and the best opportunity to resist the slide in overall tourism numbers.

The Wotif.com 5-Day Sale will promote New Zealand to Australian travellers and take place from Monday 22nd June to Friday 26th June 2009. Operators will make rooms available over a 3-month window from 22 June.

Accommodation deals must be exclusive to Wotif.com, be at least 50% off the rack rate and have a maximum minimum stay of 2 nights.

Sounds like an excellent proactive promotional idea to us!

It is good to see that Wotif will be working with Tourism New Zealand and it would appear that the extent of the crown entity's involvement will be providing promotional links from their popular website newzealand.com.

Due to their higher rack rate, hotels should be able to easily accommodate a 50% reduction into their existing tariff structure. Motels that traditionally offer lower tariff with a narrower band between their rack and sell rates may find a 50% reduction more challenging.

It can be argued that a promotion that is purely based on rate reduction is merely appealing to the lowest common denominator. What we like about the initiative is that it is a proactive "industry response." We hope that this will be prove to be successful and that operators will be supportive.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Travelling Businesswoman

The more, the better!

There are many barometers of measuring how successful your motel business is doing. One simple sure-fire indicator is the number of female business travellers that stay at your establishment. If your accommodation business has a steady stream of regular female business travellers, then you can be assured that you are running a successful business.

A single female on business that chooses your motel above all others is a badge of honor. They are the most perceptive and fussy of all guests and if you can satisfy this group, then give yourself a pat on the back - you must be doing it right!

As moteliers we have empathy for travelling businesswoman and we are aware that they endure special challenges above the more common variety male traveller.

We enjoy reading the blog, Catus Kate that gives snapshots of life and current affairs from a right wing feminist perspective.

With the titillating story of Richard Worth unfolding, Cactus gives us her timely advice on what a businesswoman should be aware of when travelling:
1. Your hotel room is your bedroom

Never let anyone into your hotel room under any circumstances while on business, treat the room as you would the bedroom of your house. If people want to meet you at the hotel make them wait in reception or at the bar. Never accept invitations for something even as innocent as going to a man's room to pick up papers. Make him bring them down to you at reception or send a hotel staff member to get them.

2. Be very careful drinking

Always know where the toilet and the taxis are. That way if you need to leave a bar or restaurant you have an escape route. Never get drunk around a client unless you are personally comfortable with them. Never be in a situation where you have to rely on a taxi being present. If in doubt or in a new city, get the hotel to order you a driver to pick you up at a set time at the restaurant. It is important if you are not a good drinker that you practice in the safety of your friends and home to find out precisely how much you can drink. I have had plenty of practice and know almost to the glass what I can handle before I need to leave. The only time I fail is when I am in the company of very good friends, never on business or in front of a client.

3. Invite the wife

If meeting clients or other businessmen for dinner or drinks that are male, always invite the wife. Not only does it neutralise any intentions the man may have, it also creates a far safer environment for you to do business. It also makes the wife comfortable that you are doing business with her husband if you at least invite her.

4. Never flirt with a client

There is a fine line between being nice and having a client enjoy your company, and danger when it comes to having the client believe you want a sexual relationship with them. Never cross that line.

5. Never sleep with a client or anyone in your industry

News spreads and if you are known for sleeping with clients or other members in your industry it will almost always eventually be detrimental to your career.

6. Do not always trust hotel staff

Hotel staff particularly in Asia are not well paid and often work as informants for criminal gangs and people who wish harm on travellers. Tip the staff to look after you but as a female travelling alone on business you are a very large target so extra caution is needed. Always deadlock your hotel door and be as less conspicious as possible around the hotel.

7. Conferences

Never give out your room details to other conference attendees and never drink with men after hours at conferences unless either other women are present or you are completely comfortable with the men. Conference organisers are usually women so make yourself known to them when you arrive as chances are you will be one of only a few females in attendance. Always try to stay at the conference hotel as it will mean you will not be stuck arranging transport after hours or to off site dinners and functions.

8. Drinks

Always be present when your drink is poured. Insist on an ice bucket placed next to you for wine or champagne so you can watch even the waiter pour the alcohol from the bottle to ensure it is not contaminated. That bad hangover may not be 100% alcohol related. This is particularly important in Asian countries but increasingly important in Western countries as well.

9. Hotels and Flights

Get to know the locations you travel to and do ALL the bookings yourself. Even when a client suggests a certain hotel, research it and ensure that it is central, as safe as it can be and family friendly. That is, until you are confident of handling the situation, be careful as a female travelling to "business" hotels as they are often full of travelling males, choose family chain hotels instead.

10. Hotel bars

If you have to drink at a hotel bar make sure once again that you watch the staff as they may receive larger tips from men for information about you than you give to the staff to look out for you. If drinking alone, expect men to come and talk to you. They will not necessarily be interested in what you are doing, but more interested in picking you up.

11. Hotel cars

In Asia a driver from the hotel is a cost-efficient method a travel and safer than using local taxis so I recommend simply hiring a driver for the day for meetings. In Western countries however you will be forced to use taxis and public transport to get around so you must study each country you travel to and work out the safest and most efficient method.

12. Men on business

They are in the same position that you are. Away from home, on their own and bored after hours. Whereas women can happily order room service and watch television before going off to bed early, men cannot and generally are more adventurous in looking for entertainment. Unless you are very interested in a man, don't go near travelling businessmen until you are confident enough to get out of the situation that will inevitably happen nine times out of ten - that he will attempt to have sexual relations with you.

13. After hours

Under no circumstances should you be out on your own after dark, particularly in a city you are not familiar with. Always aim to end your day meetings before it gets dark so you have time to get back to the hotel and either take a hotel car to dinner with clients or retire for the night. If absolutely necessary to entertain a client in the hotel, pick the "business" restaurant and not the "romantic" one. Most large hotels have a distinct selection of restaurants and bars for such purposes.

14. Emergencies

Especially at the most expensive business orientated hotels, staff are on call for you 24/7 to run errands. Do not be afraid to use them as it will mean you don't have to go out after-hours or unnecessarily during the day so you can stay safer. Even if the services are expensive, it is always cost effective once you factor in your time, energy on staying safe and the transportation cost to get to where you need to go.

15. Your Boss

Speak to your boss about the clients you handle. If he or she is a good boss they will not assign any clients to you that they suspect will cause you any of these issues. In Asia frequently the female staff are assigned "safe" clients or clients that you can meet at their offices. The Big Boss will then fly over and deal with clients he knows like to go out after-hours for certain activities. A good boss will differentiate this for you and never put you in a position where you have to ward off advances from his or hers clients.

16. Never accept an invitation by a client to a strip club or night area

As a female this will never end well. Men generally only invite you to be polite, they don't actually want you to come with them. Learn the areas in the different cities that you travel to that are dedicated for sexual entertainment and until you are confident in that environment, stay well away. In Bangkok it is Patpong or Nana, in Hong Kong it is Wan Chai, Singapore it is the infamous "four floors of whores" on Orchard Road.

17. Business Class

If travelling business class or using lounge facilities, chances are you will also be one of a few females at least mid-week that will be flying in that section of the aircraft or using the lounge. Until you are comfortable with the attention, keep to yourself and do not engage in any unnecessary conversation with fellow passengers. Outside a hotel bar, I consider business class to be the single largest attempted pick-up join in town.

18. Are you married?

This is a leading question that men will ask you while you are travelling on business. If you are not completely comfortable, many times it is easier just to say you are. Not always, but sometimes, men will back off at that point on the grounds that you are probably going to be too difficult to pursue in terms of women having a guiltier conscience about extra-marital sex than men.
Source: Click HERE

More Gloom For Motel Visitor Stats

Statistics New Zealand have released the Accommodation Survey for April 2009.

They do not make pretty reading. Overall the gloom continues, with the only good news being that the the declining trend is is now somewhat slower. Unfortunately, the motel industry appears to have again taken the biggest hit.

Last year the Easter Holidays occurred in March and this year in April, so in order to get a true comparison it is appropriate to combine the months of March and April 2009 for what has happened compared to last year.

Guest nights for the combined months of March and April 2009 were 4 percent lower than for the same two months in 2008.

In the two months ended April 2009, international guest nights were 8 percent lower and domestic guest nights were 1 percent lower than in the two months ended April 2008.

The combined March and April periods are compared, 10 of the 12 regions had fewer guest nights. Waikato recorded the largest increase, and Auckland the largest decrease.

In the two months ended April 2009, all five accommodation types had fewer guest nights than in the two months ended April 2008, led by:

• motels, down 124,000 (6 percent)

• hotels, down 68,000 (3 percent)

• caravan parks/camping grounds, down 55,000 (4 percent).

In April 2009, the occupancy rate, excluding caravan parks/camping grounds, was 50 percent,
compared with 52 percent in April 2008. This is the lowest April occupancy rate since 1998.

Hotels had the highest occupancy rate (53 percent) of all the accommodation types in April 2009, followed by motels (50 percent) and backpackers/hostels (48 percent).

Source: Click HERE

Thursday, June 11, 2009

How's Travel Bug Doing?

Interesting stats were released in the vianet.travel Operator's Newsletter this week:

* The average lead time for bookings for the past 12 months was 31 days.

* The average length of bookings for the past 12 months was 1.67 days.

* The average value of bookings for the last 12 months was $231.05.

* The average value of bookings in May has dropped to $225.92.

* Bookings in April and May doubled compared to the same months last year.

Source: Click HERE

By our reckoning, Travel Bug have managed to increase domestic visitors to their site in April and May this year by about 20% compared to the same period last year. If bookings have doubled then then it is pleasing that a a few more lookers may have been converted into bookers.

It is difficult however to to put their claimed doubling of sales into relativity. The base comparison is from when Travel Bug had only been operating for approximately 5-months and we would expect that these booking figures at that time would have still been fairly modest after a soft launch.

It is also interesting to second-guess the psychology of the average Trade Me user to try and understand why they haven't migrated over to Travel Bug en masse. The most obvious difference of Travel Bug compared to Trade Me is that accommodation is not auctioned and the displayed tariff is not negotiable.

We suspect that the bulk of Trade Me users are very much turned on by the auction process by having a punt, competing with other bidders and establishing a "market price."

We believe that Travel Bug is not user friendly and intuitive as it could be. One of the frustrating aspects of the site is the proliferation of properties that only offer "on-request" inventory. Hopefully Travel Bug can elevate and distinguish those properties that offer real-time inventory from the scrum of token listings that only offer "on-request."

Often guests will choose accommodation by comparison and Travel Bug's layout does not give the user an effective helicopter view of all available offers. At the moment no other accommodation reseller has been able to improve on the user friendly layout pioneered by wotif.

Air NZ's Corporate Welfare Agenda

I was somewhat amused with the latest announcement by Air New Zealand of their Qualmark Environmental Gold Accreditation. The nature of the airline industry dictates this ironic politically correct gesture will never come within a bulls roar of offsetting the carbon that it spews into the atmosphere.

Qualmark Enviro-Green accreditation was a compulsive feel-good initiative forced upon the tourism industry under the Nanny knows best culture of the Clark government.

The unintended consequences of the airline grandstanding its alleged green credentials is that it will unnecessarily raise environmental hysteria and guilt of air travel while promoting the myths of climate change.

The last thing that Air New Zealand needs to focus on right now is a silly green-wash campaign that opens the airline to unnecessary scrutiny from flat-earth environmentalists.

In this dire economic climate, the airline needs to man-up, axe unnecessary "hug-a-polar-bear" programmes and focus on core business activities.

Air New Zealand, a 75% state owned company was first out of the blocks chiding the government for not further contributing to it's marketing by freezing the tourism spend announced in last week's Budget. This was swiftly played down this week by Air New Zealand as they suggested that the New Zealand taxpayer should now be subsidising it's marginal international routes as tourist numbers decline.

Air New Zealand's most recent announcement of achieving Gold Accreditation from Qualmark NZ, a fellow government funded adjunct, rounds off a 2-week period where the airline has attempted to maximise its status as an iconic New Zealand company in order to extract more favour from the New Zealand taxpayer.

It is highly unlikely that the National led government would consider selling off Air New Zealand in its first term, however we suggest that John Key start the process of weaning the airline off corporate welfare and start a series of fireside chats with the New Zealand public to explain why this company should be returned to private ownership in its second term.

Press Release: Air New Zealand
9 June 2009

Air New Zealand achieves Environmental Gold Accreditation

Air New Zealand has been recognised as being amongst New Zealand’s most environmentally responsible tourism businesses with its achievement of Qualmark’s Enviro-Gold accreditation.

Enviro-Gold is the highest rating able to be achieved under Qualmark Green, a responsible tourism criteria designed to extend environmental and socially responsible actions for tourism businesses. The criteria recognises energy, water, waste, community, conservation programmes and monitoring.

Air New Zealand Deputy Chief Executive Officer Norm Thompson today said the airline was delighted to have achieved the Gold standard.

Mr Thompson says as one of the biggest tourism businesses in New Zealand, the airline felt it was important to put itself under independent scrutiny through the Qualmark Green assessment.

“Air New Zealand is committed to becoming the world’s most environmentally sustainable airline and achieving the Enviro-Gold accreditation is another step in recognising the work we are achieving on that journey,” he says.

“Today we have also launched a new website (environewzealand.co.nz) which recognises Qualmark Green enviro-rated tourism businesses, making it easy for travellers to find out more information and plan their itineraries to include these activities. It’s another way in which Air New Zealand is helping to drive awareness of the great services and activities on offer in New Zealand.

Qualmark Chief Executive Officer Geoff Penrose says Air New Zealand’s performance within the responsible tourism criteria was exemplary, with a track record that includes a large number of fuel and carbon emission saving initiatives.

“Air New Zealand’s green programmes cover the spectrum of responsible tourism criteria ranging from water conservation and waste minimisation to an in-house Green Team, customer carbon offsetting programme and conservation activities such as the Air New Zealand Environmental Trust.

Mr Penrose says that Qualmark’s leadership in responsible tourism has to date achieved many tangible outcomes, with a key aim to ensuring visitor expectations of New Zealand’s clean green image is exceeded.

“Air New Zealand’s overall commitment highlights a large tourism business implementing both environmental and socially responsible practices throughout their organisation, and clearly demonstrates guardianship of the industry, which is to be applauded.”

Source: Click HERE

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Motel Industry Has No Sick Leave

For several weeks I have been downing a cocktail of pills to try and avoid the flu. I was feeling fairly cocky for a while, but inevitably it has finally gotten to me.

In the motel industry the front office is a stage. You smile, offer empathy are positive and always hospitable. Behind the scenes away from our audience is the only place where moteliers can let their guard down and feel sick between gigs.

Flicking on the hospitality switch at each ring of the bell has gotten a little bit more difficult.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Motel Association Take Another Jump To The Left?

Part of the Holidays Act Review will be to investigate trading annual leave for cash at the employee's request. This would mean employees would be entitled to choose to take payment as opposed to taking the fourth week off.

For business owners you would think that the support for this proposal that gives increased flexibility and choice in the workplace would be a no-brainer. The proposal is after all supported by mainstream business groups led by Business New Zealand.

So what is the position of The Motel Association (MANZ)?

Well, MANZ that claims to represent 1000 motel businesses is joining the Council of Trade Unions and Socialist Workers Party of New Zealand in their opposition to this proposal.

Quite frankly we are dumbfounded and saddened with a further example of woolly thinking by MANZ.

Thank goodness for Fergus Brown, head of the Holiday Park Association of New Zealand that was able to speak some common sense on this issue.

WILL HINE in Queenstown
The Southland Times

Leave changes could hurt motel industry - MANZ

Moteliers could lose business if workers are allowed to take money from employers in lieu of annual leave, the head of the Motel Association of New Zealand says.

The Government is considering amending the Holidays Act to permit workers to trade annual leave for cash.

Association chief executive Michael Baines said 72 per cent of moteliers' business came from domestic holidaymakers.

"If you take away those people's opportunity to take holidays, then you take away our potential market. That could create problems."

The association represents about 1000 motels, or 70 per cent, of those operating in New Zealand, Mr Baines said.

"We've already got too many beds and not enough customers. If we have fewer people taking holidays, it's going to get a lot tougher."

But Holiday Park Association of New Zealand chief executive Fergus Brown said he supported the legislation review.

The association represents about 300, or 75 per cent, of New Zealand holiday parks.

Allowing workers to cash in leave would enable Kiwi families to finance their holidays, Mr Brown said.
"If someone decides they want to give their family a holiday, they could trade back some leave, get the money and go on holiday."

A review could also benefit holiday park operators by helping them to manage the entitlements of seasonal workers, Mr Brown said.

A five-person working party overseeing the Holidays Act review is expected to report back to Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson in December.

Source: Click HERE

Monday, June 8, 2009

Best Bain Joke So Far?

The topic of conversation with guests at our motel has been all about the Bain trial. Everybody seems to have an entrenched opinion!

I guess like you, we have been all getting the obligatory txt and email jokes, however in our opinion this has been the best so far:

Hat tip: WhaleOil

Is A Shake-up At Tourism New Zealand Eminent?

Tourism New Zealand Chief, George Hickton appears on TV3 News and discusses the opening of TRENZ in Auckland this week, tourism arrivals to date and the potential for the summer season ahead. Interestingly Hickton is still loyal to the 100% Pure branding and hopes that it will stick around for at least another 10 years.

Watch the video HERE

The expensive mainstream media "Coke style" campaigns used by Tourism NZ that showcase our fantastic NZ landscapes and stirring NZ music are inspiring to local tourism operators, however the reach on a world stage and effectiveness to attract potential tourists is frustratingly limited.

Tourism NZ has recently entered the domain of social media with its mobile film studio that is a converted shipping container where tourists were able to send online postcards to friends and family via YouTube. Again, this initiative created great localised feel-good publicity as it toured throughout New Zealand, however it can be argued that the uploaded videos hardly caused a ripple in cyberspace.

After spending $600,000 on the YouTube campaign it was reported: "Viral marketing was new ground for the tourism marketing body, and chief executive George Hickton had no idea how to measure whether it worked."

In our predictions for 2009 post, we wrote that we expected to see a "freshening and reinvigorating" of the 100% Pure NZ. brand. We predicted that there will be a subtle move away from reliance on solely marketing natural landscapes.

As an industry, tourism is being crushed by publicly funded institutionalised bureaucracy that is out of proportion to the industry it is supposed to serve. The tourism industry is at risk of becoming too dependent on the productivity of others and needs to become more innovative and self reliant. Quite simply, in our opinion the New Zealand taxpayer is not getting an acceptable ROI for their tourism spend.

We predicted that there would be a necessary shakeup at Tourism NZ and in order for this to happen, Hickton needs to go. An industry insider has informed us that this will likely occur before the end of this year.

Watch this space.

Our One Is Bigger Than Your One

New Zealand's dream of becoming an iconic South Pacific destination for lycra lovers has been dealt a serious setback by a Johnny-come-lately announcement from Tasmania.

We are amused by the "vision" of Australian Premier, David Bartlett to build a 450km dedicated cycleway from Smithton to Hobart.

Hang on, haven't us Kiwis already announced that we were going to corner the snail-trail market?

Apparently Mr Bartlett has other ideas and believes that "Tasmania can become an iconic destination for cyclists." The shrewd little devil has used all the the usual qualifications to promote the project: climate change, health and wellbeing and tourism. Bugger!

The Australian Federal Government has $40 million set aside for cycling projects and further substantial funding can be raised by councils.

In the race as to who can spend more public money and build the most impressive cycleway, we appear to have an advantage.

The Fush n Chups blog respectfully points out that John Key’s one is longer than David Barlett’s. What is not clear at this stage though, is which one has the bigger width?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Power of Social Networking

Being part of Generation X is not all it's cracked up to be. We are known as the "forgotten Generation." We are like the annoying middle child in the family stuck in no-man's land between the more favored older Baby Boomers and the younger Generation Y .

One of the trending bits of media doing the rounds of online social media at the moment appealed to me and probably many other Generation Xers that had to endure an era of 1980s music that was at best embarrassing. How could a man dressed in canary yellow, baggy parachute pants ever be cool!?!

A viral video that is promoting MC Hammer's entry into the reality show business has succeeded as an extremely successful promotion.

Picture a typical scene in a clothing store that is suddenly turned upside down by gatecrashing silly-pants wearing performers that have created a classic guerrilla advertising ambush.

You may not like MC Hammer or reality television, however by the power of social networking you now know that a new reality show is pending and you will now second glance any further mention in the mainstream media. God forbid, some of you may even watch it!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Air New Zealand Goes Viral

Good to see that Air New Zealand's "nothing to hide" ad campaign has gone viral.

To date over 1.7 million viewers on YouTube have enjoyed the body painted Air New Zealand staff doing their thing to Gin Wigmores misic track, under my skin:

AA Still Dominates Domestic Traffic for Travel Websites

AA still dominates, however the gaps seem to be narrowing in the race for Kiwi's favorite travel website.

Source: Click HERE

Wotif Founder Makes It To Rich List

One of the best parts about reading any new rich list is looking at the new members on the list.

Despite the dire state of the Australian economy – or perhaps because of it, given the cut-off for inclusion on Australia's BRW’s Rich 200 has fallen from $200 million to a mere $150 million.

There are some interesting new members of Australia’s wealthiest club including, Accountant Andrew Brice who was one of the seed investors in online travel company Wotif.com.

Wotif is proving to be one the best downturn-beaters on the Australian sharemarket – its shares are actually up 6 per cent in the last 12 months, against a 35 per cent fall in the broader market. Brice retains a big shareholding and joins the list with $170 million.

Good on ya mate!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Moteliers Welcome Holidays Act Review

Hopefully the government will legislate how and when moteliers can take a holiday ;-)

The Holidays Act review will be welcomed by moteliers.

Employment law was declared out of bounds early on in the recent Job Summit, so it is pleasing that as a first step, the Holidays Act is to be reviewed by the government.

The current Act was not written for real-world conditions of the motel and greater tourism industries. The one size fits all Act was focused on the assumption that all employees worked 9 to 5, had weekends off and took holidays in neat 7-day bundles.

The Holidays Act simply does not fit with the real-life variable demands of the motel industry. The Act is too complex and ambiguous. It is not flexible to cater for differing work arrangements and this has resulted in significant compliance costs for moteliers.

The terms of reference for the review include:
  • the calculation of relevant daily pay
  • trading annual leave for cash at the employee's request, and
  • transferring the observance of public holidays
The Motel Association (MANZ) has had a proud history of fighting for it's members by fronting up to select Committees and making submissions on previous employment legislation. It will be interesting to follow if the association currently has the capacity to effectively lobby again.

"Motella" will be making our own submission.

The 5-member working group conducting the review has 2 obligatory union stooges. We hope that the other members have had enough experience with small business needs and can bring some balance to the group's final recommendations. We are nervously holding our breath!

The members are:

Paul Mackay has been Business NZ's Employment Relations Policy Manager since January 2006. He has significant experience of policy and legislature analysis in government, state owned enterprises and the private sector. In 2004, he developed and presented Carter Holt Harvey's submission to the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee on the Holidays Amendment Bill.

Helen Kelly has been president of the NZCTU since 2007. Her responsibilities in that role include economic development, employment law, social partnership, ACC, pay and employment equity and climate change.

James Ritchie has been National Secretary of the New Zealand Dairy Workers Union since 2003. He has 25 years experience as a union official and is a member of the NZCTU National Affiliates Council. He served as Workers' chair on the Committee on Good Employment at the International Labour Organisation 2008 conference.

Philip Doak is Senior Legal Counsel to the Air New Zealand group of companies advising on all aspects of employment relations law. Air NZ has been involved in litigation in respect of the Holidays Act 2003, including in the Supreme Court. He is a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.

Peter Kiely is Kiely Thompson Caisley's senior partner and has practised in employment law and industrial relations since 1980. He has legal and academic expertise on all aspects of the Holidays Act 2003, authoring ‘The Guide to Holidays and Leave' in 2006. In 1997, he was appointed Adjunct Professor of Employment Law at Victoria University of Wellington.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009
Press Release: Employers and Manufacturers Association Northern
3 June, 2009

Employers welcome Holidays Act review

The Holidays Act has been one the single biggest problems for employers and a thorough review is warmly welcomed, says David Lowe, Employment Services Manager for the Northern Employers and Manufacturers Association.

"The Act is based on antiquated work practices which assume people work 9-5 and take holidays in periods of one week," Mr Lowe said.

"Employers often find ways of allowing holidays that are fair to both employees and the business, even though they may not technically comply with the law.

"Ensuring the holidays law reflects the modern New Zealand workplace, and is easily understood and complied with, is a complex job.

"Addressing the problems of the Holidays Act is another major step towards making it attractive and easier for businesses to employ people.

"Each member of the review group is well qualified for the task."

Source: Click HERE

A Postcard From Napier

Remember that blogger I posted about recently?

The one that has been on a short road trip and staying at commercial accommodation along the way. The
blog is, Oswald Bastable's Ranting and the writer has been described as a 'Surly Curmudgeon', by those who meet him on a good day and having a poor regard for the human species, in general.

Yeah him!

Well, Mr Bastable has visited Napier and has commented about his views on the accommodation establishment he stayed in.

In fact, he stayed in the same establishment that appeared in our post HERE
I am pleased to report that my visit to Napier itself was entirely satisfactory.

Our hotel, The Tennyson Motor Inn, was comfortable, very well priced ($139 for a premium suite) and located right in the CBD next to a park and in the same block as numerous cafes, bars and eateries. The top shelf of the bar was well-stocked with excellent whiskeys (obviously another fan of Islay was involved here) and there was a good selection of local brews at very good prices. All the staff were most friendly and helpful. Obviously owner-operators.

Good on the new owners of the Tennyson that have recently taken over and are obviously injecting their own positive personality into this well established business. Well done!

Popular Blogger Fronts-Up In Prime Time

A bit off topic here, however it was good to see popular blogger Cameron Slater of Whale Oil front up on Close Up last night.

The Worth saga is intriguing to watch. How has Key handled what could be his biggest crisis to date and how can Labour react to a golden opportunity to politically score? It was not a good start for Labour - Ironically "Phil-in" Goff failed to show!

We know that more and more people are turning to blogs and other social media for their news and commentary. What is interesting is that the popular media have been quoting comments from blogs (often without divulging a sources) for some time. Now we see that a blogger has been elevated by the popular media to front up and directly contribute in an open interview in prime-time.

Good to see!

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