Growth in vacation home bookings but absent motels and hotels

Waitangi weekend bookings for holiday homes, cots and pre-serviced apartments in Canterbury are up 26% on last year, while Queenstown and the South Lakes are up 65%, according to one of New Zealand’s largest holiday home management companies.

However, hoteliers and moteliers in the region are not experiencing the same growth.

Bachcare New Zealand spokeswoman Zaina Razzaq said Omicron’s impact on the upper North Island meant Aucklanders were less likely to travel out of town, but that Kiwis from the rest of the country were still traveling in similar numbers to the previous year.

While bookings were now down from the “record summer peak” in some areas, she said areas such as Queenstown and the Southern Lakes continued to attract large volumes of domestic travellers.

In addition to growth in Canterbury and Queenstown/Southern Lakes over the previous year, Lake Taupo grew by 38%, and Wellington and Wairarapa grew by 21%.

“We know that for many, vacation homes are preferable to other types of accommodation because unlike hotels, guests don’t have shared spaces to manage.

“We believe this is part of the reason consumer demand remains resilient during Omicron’s developing situation,” she said.

However, Novotel Queenstown general manager and member of the Queenstown Wanaka Hoteliers group, Jim Moore, and Lakefront Lodge Te Anau owner, Dianne Walsh, said they don’t see anything like this kind of growth in their weekend bookings. end at Waitangi.

Mr Moore said the market appeared to be down around 75% from pre-Covid figures.

February has historically been one of the busiest months of the year – particularly for the international market and the conference market being two big sectors for hotels.

“With the closure of borders and the government’s traffic light system trading in Red, it has effectively wiped out all of that business and reduced other business lines.

“Compared to 2021, hotel occupancies hold less activity than they saw last year – further impacted by at least four new hotels that were engaged ahead of the Covid opening in 2021 and two more openings since the start of the pandemic.”

He said Queenstown has traditionally held more than 25% of the domestic traveler market and has always welcomed New Zealanders.

“It’s the perfect time to come, and long weekends such as the Waitangi weekend provide more vibrancy and reason to book.”