Good weather and increased flight capacity into Queenstown
are credited with boosting hotel occupancy in the Wakatipu in
January, the Tourism Industry Association says.
Occupancy for the month was 75.2%, markedly up from 70.8% of
January last year and January 2011's 73.8%.
The average daily rate was $150.42 last month, the middle
ground between January last year at $153.25 and January 2011
The association announced a significant 11-point increase to
66% in the free independent traveller sector room nights in
the resort in January 2013 offset decreases in the tour,
conference and incentive markets.
Australian room nights were up 3.2 points to 22.1% and the
United States market was up 4.2 points to 9.9%. The
association found the fine summer weather helped around the
country, with total national occupancy for hotel sector
members in January at 71.8% one of the highest rates recorded
in the past five years.
Chief executive Martin Snedden said the great weather
encouraged people to extend their holidays and resulted in
higher domestic tourism across many of the association's
eight hotel regions.
''Holiday regions like Queenstown and Central Park - Taupo,
Ruapehu, Napier and Gisborne - enjoyed good summer holiday
business, with visitors arriving earlier than normal, almost
immediately after Christmas.
''This business continued well into the new year.''
As a result, corporate business picked up a little later in
January than usual, although some regions had already enjoyed
good conference and event business.
Nationally, hotel average room rates were on a par with
January 2012 at $135 but showed significant strengthening on
the $127 of January 2011.
Despite the good January results, some hoteliers said
increased operating costs impacted significantly on profits.
Accor Hospitality vice-president, New Zealand and Fiji, Garth
Simmons said hotels were being forced to absorb cost
increases because management did not feel able to pass them
on to guests.
''Coupled with ever-increasing expectations from guests about
rate inclusions, especially internet and Wi-Fi, this
continues to make for challenging trading conditions,'' Mr