Border Closures Force Hotels to Hibernate

Hotel Council Aotearoa, who represent around half the country's hotels, has reported that many saw a significant downturn in occupancies. January should have been the busiest month, however, this year, only 40 - 60 percent of rooms were occupied, and at slashed discounted prices.

Part of the Scenic Circle Group, the Glacier Country Hotel at Fox Glacier has been averaging just one room a night. Its sister hotel, Te Waonui o Tane Forest Retreat at Franz Josef Glacier, is only at 10 percent occupancy on average.

Scenic Circle Group has also closed its Scenic Hotel in Dunedin and the Scenic Hotel in Napier, due to floods.

Scenic Circle Group has been declined assistance from the Government's Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme so is now considering which hotels they are having to hibernate over winter.

The days of a trans-Tasman bubble seem to be stretching further and further after the rise of new COVID cases in Northland, Auckland. This wait means local hotels are hurting as a result.

International visitors are ultimately the big spenders for the hotel industry. They spend four times more, on average than Kiwi travellers who are merely "exploring their backyard".

For a tran-Tasman bubble to work, Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, explained that their needs to be either a confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine, and we must know that enough of the New Zealand population will be willing to be vaccinated.

The Hotel Council Aotearoa report stated that the hotels who have agreed to become MIQ facilities have the risk of guests posting negative reviews on their public websites - this is despite knowing that their services are heavily Government-managed. Unfortunately, it will also take some time once COVID is over for regular guests to feel comfortable in returning to those hotels.