Tourism Industry Association Queenstown hotels regional
chairwoman and Goldridge Resort general manager Penny Clark
says hotel managers are anticipating more ''dream time''
bookings from Australians. Photo by James Beech.
Queenstown hoteliers are ''fairly confident'' about
bookings for winter 2014, after experiencing a record-breaking
Penny Clark, Queenstown hotels regional chairwoman of the
Tourism Industry Association and general manager of Goldridge
Resort, said the managers of the 18 three- to five-star
member hotels were encouraged by announcements Qantas and
Jetstar would increase flights from Australia to Queenstown
for the ski season.
''The bookings are consistently coming in well. I wouldn't
say they are rolling in, but the TV campaign for winter ski
this year is running later than normal and happening after
Easter,'' Ms Clark said.
''This is what we in the hotel, and even ski, industry call
`dream time'. It's this time when it's starting to get colder
over in Australia and they start dreaming about their winter
holiday and skiing. We think that's a good time to try to nab
them into making bookings, but the major campaign is going
''Individual operators' campaigns will start before that, so
I'm expecting it will really kick in that week after Anzac
Day and Easter.''
The cluster of national holidays coincides with three big
drawcards to the district in mid to late April - the Warbirds
Over Wanaka International Airshow
(April 18-20), the 30th anniversary Arrowtown Autumn Festival
(April 24-May 4) and the Queenstown Blues and Roots Festival
Statistics New Zealand's commercial accommodation monitor
figures for December 2013 show total Queenstown guest nights
for year-end 2013 rose 8.4% to 2,756,149.
From January 2013, every month recorded an increase over the
prior year, resulting in a record high for the year.
International guest nights were up 10.1% to 1,807,837,
accounting for 65.6% of all guest nights in the Queenstown
regional tourism area. Domestic guest nights rose 5.2% to
948,312, making up 34.4% of total guest nights for the same
period. The average length of stay rose from 2.55 nights to
In January 2014, compared with January 2013, guest nights
rose 12.3% to 316,913, Statistics NZ said. International
guest nights rose 15.3% to 207,964, while domestic guest
nights rose 7% to 108,949. However, the average length of
stay fell from 2.47 nights to 2.45 nights.
Overall occupancy rose from 65.2% to 70.2%. Accommodation
capacity, excluding holiday parks, rose 4.2%.
Ms Clark said anecdotally more people from New Zealand's
traditional Western visitor markets visited Queenstown's
hotels last summer than in previous summers.
''The US, Germany, England, even East Europeans, and the
Australians, those numbers are all up for Queenstown, so that
has counteracted the new mix of Asia that's down slightly,
because European destinations have discounts on,'' she said.
''We've got to keep our fingers on the pulse as to what's
happening in Korea and some of our other Asian markets to
make sure we don't go off the boil just because China has
appeared on the horizon.''