Lions Tour roars into bed-levy fray

Lions Tour roars into bed-levy fray

As hotel price gouging during next month’s Lions Tour seems set to be the next weapon in the bed-levy stoush, sporting great Martin Snedden calls for trade and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff to get back to the drawing board.
‘As hard as it is, the best approach for all concerned would be to swallow pride, take the current proposal off the table, and go back to step one – proper consultation,’ he says.
Snedden, director of both the New Zealand Cricket and Auckland World Masters Games 2017, waded into the debate this week saying hotels have played right into Goff’s hands by price gouging during the Masters Games.

Talking to TRAVELinc Memo, he says in spite of efforts by the Master Games to persuade hotels from overinflating prices, some started their rates at two to three times their norm.
‘We encountered a huge amount of price resistance from participants. Organisers had to employ extra staff to deal with accommodation pricing complaints and to facilitate alternative solutions.’
Snedden one of the chief organisers of the hugely successful New Zealand Rugby World Cup, says there are signs price gouging will also be seen during June’s Lions Tour.
‘I noticed sales of corporate travel packages are much slower than anticipated. I suspect part of this will be that packages prices have been pushed up by hotel rates. There are many UK fans who will remember being burnt by this in 2011 Rugby World Cup.’
But, in spite of the pricing fracas, Snedden says the tourism industry’s stance against Goff’s proposal is ‘spot on’.
‘Mayor Goff has jumped at something which, at first glance, looked alluring but, once the detail was delved into, had many more fish-hooks than originally understood.’
Snedden says the situation has become a ‘credibility issue’ for Goff, who runs the risk of starting mayoral life with a significant defeat if he loses his bid.
‘And if he gets his diluted proposal across the line, it looks like he’ll be walking the Auckland Council into significant and costly litigation where, ultimately, he may suffer an even greater defeat.’
– Lisa Bradley

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