The lifeblood of New Zealand’s hotel industry is both domestic and international tourism, and inevitably hotels in the country suffered adverse effects as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Border closures, as well as lockdowns, meant that leisure travel was no longer possible, affecting the hospitality industry worldwide as a whole. In the United States, occupancy dropped around 20 percent from 2019 to 2020, and revenue per room almost halved. It was a similar story in the United Kingdom, with occupancy more than halving in 2020, as well as expenditure on domestic tourism.
How did the pandemic affect hotels in the Asia-Pacific region?
Before the pandemic began to take hold, hotels in the country enjoyed an average national occupancy rate of around 78 percent, with rates exceeding 80 percent in Queenstown and Auckland. Auckland attracted around 1.8 million international visitors in 2019. Northland hotels recognized a total of over 90 thousand guest nights in the same year, well over half of which were domestic guest nights.
To prevent the coronavirus from spreading throughout the country, New Zealand closed its borders to non-residents on March 19, 2020. The border has been effectively closed since then and looks likely to remain that way until the end of 2022 at least. Along with short periods of nationwide lockdown, this has significantly reduced the number of international and domestic hotel guests and made a considerable impact on the tourism industry in general. Nevertheless, the country has tried to promote domestic tourism through multiple nationwide campaigns to encourage Kiwis to support the industry through domestic holidays. Furthermore, returning citizens have to go into two weeks of managed isolation in commercial hotels that have been adapted into COVID-19 quarantine facilities.
The industry has shown signs of recovery; from 2020 to 2021, establishments in most cities noted varying degrees of increase in occupancy rates, with Wellington hotels experiencing the largest growth rate. Most businesses in the tourism sector said they needed at least half of their pre-COVD income in order to remain viable and stated the importance of both the trans-Tasman travel bubble and international tourism generally.
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In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 19 most important statistics relating to "Hotel industry recovery post COVID-19 in New Zealand".