Market Report New Zealand

Horwath HTL Market Report New Zealand - By Stephen Hamilton

New Zealand Tourism and Hotel Market Overview

The performance of the New Zealand hotel industry is improving strongly, with record occupancies and room rates currently being achieved. The outlook for continuing growth in hotel demand is strong, especially in New Zealand’s main visitor destinations. There is a need for new hotel investment, especially in Auckland and Queenstown, and the various hotel projects which are under development and currently planned will not provide suf cient new rooms to meet expected demand. But, although room rates are rising reasonably strongly, New Zealand room rates are generally cheap by international standards, and not yet high enough to make most new hotel projects nancially viable. 

Tourism is the fastest growing export industry in New Zealand and has recently replaced dairy as our largest export earner. The sector has almost doubled in value since 1999 and is currently experiencing its strongest ever growth cycle. Tourism directly or indirectly supports over 12% of all employment in New Zealand.

2015 was a year of milestones for the industry. According to the Tourism Satellite Account, international visitor expenditure hit a record $11.8 billion in the Year Ended March 2015 (an increase of 17.1% over the previous year), and domestic visitor expenditure was $18.1 billion (up 6.3%). Commercial accommodation demand has reached a record high, with hotel availability under signi cant pressure, particularly over the peak months in Auckland and Queenstown.

The tourism industry’s goal of achieving $41 billion in total revenue by 2025 (which was described as aspirational in 2013) now looks easily achievable. The industry’s strategic focus on value over volume is intended to help minimise the negative impacts of tourism and protect New Zealand’s natural environment. Creating more options for visitors that encourage regional dispersal and reducing the effects of seasonality will assist in achieving this goal. 

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