New Zealand tourism recovers as Christchurch lags

Data from STR Global have revealed a 15.3 per cent fall in occupancy rates for hotels in Christchurch, New Zealand, for the first two months of 2011.

A decrease that was strongly influenced by a 25.2 per cent drop reported in February. However, across the country hotels are reporting a brisk trade ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

A deadly earthquake hit the city of Christchurch on February 22nd 2011.

Though Christchurch has suffered in the aftermath of the earthquake, hoteliers in other major cities throughout New Zealand are pushing rates after posting occupancy and demand increases during 2010.

Nationwide, ADR has improved by three per cent to NZ$138 in the first two months of 2011 despite a 2.1 per cent fall in occupancy.

Auckland and Queenstown improved their ADR year-to-February, reporting NZ$141 and NZ$155, respectively. Wellington, despite a continued drop in rate growth, still reported an ADR of NZ$146 and occupancy of 72 per cent.

With the ongoing clear up in Christchurch and the uncertainly over how many hotels might need to be torn down, performance will of course remain subdued.

The city reported an ADR of NZ$114 and occupancy of 70 per cent for the first two months 2011.

However, prospects for the remainder of the country are boosted by the Rugby World Cup, which is set to attract huge travelling support in New Zealand during several weeks in September and October 2011.

Plus, significant future marketing benefit is to be expected now that the much delayed filming of The Hobbit, the prequel to the JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, has begun in Wellington.

However, several World Cup games have been moved away from Christchurch following the earthquake.