Despite challenging global events the New Zealand hotel industry has held up
well so far during 2003. Preliminary August 2003 year-to-date figures from
the New Zealand edition of the HotelBenchmark Survey by Deloitte & Touche
reveals a 6.5 percent growth in revenue per available room (revPAR) for the
country to NZ$91, driven entirely by growth in average room rates. Although
both the North and South Island have seen an increase in revPAR compared to
the same period in 2002, this growth has been stronger for hoteliers on the
North Island who have seen revPAR increase by 8.1 percent. This has
predominately been driven by the exceptional performance of Auckland during
the first quarter of 2003, due to the hosting of the America’s Cup.
Year-to-August 2003 figures from Statistics New Zealand show a four percent
increase in international visitor arrivals compared to the same period the
prior year. Unsurprisingly, arrivals from the SARS-affected and risk
sensitive markets such as Japan continued to show the largest declines in
visitor arrivals to the country, however Asia was the only region to show a
year-to-date decline albeit of 1 percent. Arrivals from two of New
Zealand’s largest source markets, the United Kingdom and Australia,
continued to remain positive increasing by 10.7 percent and 6.1 percent
Facing competition from the ‘See Australia’ campaign and the resurgence of
marketing investment in Asia as a destination, Tourism New Zealand has
recently implemented a new wave of the ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ campaign.
This commenced at the beginning of September and has encompassed magazine,
online and outdoor advertising.
Looking forward to the next quarter, the forthcoming Rugby World Cup hosted
by Australia, might impact inbound tourism to New Zealand during October and
November, as Australians may choose to defer travel plans and stay at home.
However, it’s not all bad news - since hotel prices in Australia are likely
to increase during the World Cup, New Zealand may be able to lure the
long-haul traveller market. The country is also likely to benefit from
increased demand once the Rugby World Cup concludes.