With Auckland placed in Alert Level 3 lockdown and the rest of New Zealand on Alert Level 2, hoteliers around the country are fielding thousands of domestic and corporate travel cancellations. New Zealand Hotel Owners Association (NZHOA) executive director Amy Robens is describing the latest impacts on the struggling sector as ‘beyond grim’ and the ongoing repercussions seemingly endless.
‘Auckland is a big market for hoteliers throughout New Zealand when there is no international visitation and booking cancellations for domestic leisure and conferences, even just through to the end of August, is costing the hotel sector many millions of dollars,’ she says. ‘While we support the Government’s decisive action to tackle Covid-19 community transmission, urgent financial relief including a targeted extension to the wage subsidy must go beyond Auckland with hotels throughout the country feeling the full impacts of the region’s Level 3 lockdown.’
‘Hotels are particularly hard hit by enforced lockdowns given they can’t re-open quickly and profitably in the same way as many other businesses. Hotels need to generate enough forward bookings to make their business viable, and given we are losing bookings many will return to single-digit occupancy,’ Robens says. ‘Any extension to the current lockdown status will see the moderate level of business hotels are experiencing wash completely. We are at the end of the road,’ Robens says.