Experts Suggest Christchurch Accommodation Rates Need to Increase to Attract Investment
Hotel and tourism consultant Stephen Hamilton has suggested that average room prices in Christchurch's busy summer accommodation season need to be two or three times higher in order to help offset lower returns in the off season.
If Christchurch and New Zealand are to attract new hotel investment, Hamilton says several years of double figure growth is needed. "When we book a four to five star hotel in Sydney or Melbourne for a weekend, we're paying two and a half to three times what we pay in New Zealand," he said.
In Canterbury accommodation providers needed to achieve really high room rates during peak season due to the long winter, he said. "If they can't, they won't be profitable, and we won't see more hotel capacity in Christchurch at the rate some would argue is needed for the tourism industry to grow."
In order for new hotels to be built, Christchurch room rates needed to reach a better sustained level before investors will feel they can commit, Hamilton said. However he also commented that building too many top end hotels was not a good strategy either, as there wasn't a demand for a lot of accommodation in Christchurch with a focus on opulence and luxury.
Hamilton said not all accommodation has to be five stars and not all of it has to be within the central city blocks. There is demand for quality motel accommodation in nearby suburbs such as Riccarton which are also close to the airport and other Christchurch attractions.
Hamilton said the tourism industry could manage peak demand in Christchurch by continuing to encourage visitors to come in off-peak or shoulder seasons.