Home' Hotel Management : HM February 2018 Contents Chris Roberts
Chief Executive Officer
Tourism Industry Aotearoa
This year, 2018, is going to be the year when New Zealand’s tourism
industry collectively takes responsibility for delivering long-term
gains for our communities and economy.
n November 2017, TIA launched the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability
Commitment. Our vision is for New Zealand to lead the world in sustainable tourism.
This is aspirational but achievable and the right thing to do.
In delivering this vision, we will achieve ambitious economic goals while sharing
the overwhelming benefits with supportive host communities across New Zealand,
contributing in meaningful ways to restoring, protecting and enhancing our natural
environment, and continuing to be a high-quality destination of choice for international
and domestic travellers.
We also need to deliver for our host communities. Manaakitanga, the Kiwi welcome,
is an essential part of what we offer our visitors. We want New Zealanders to be
cheerleaders for tourism. So, as an industry, we need to do better at explaining what the
benefits of tourism are, in terms of business opportunities, jobs, events, facilities and the
vitality created in their communities.
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Federation of Travel Agents
As 2018 kicks off there is no doubt that the regulatory challenges
being presented to government and the travel and tourism industry
in relation to software platforms driving the shared economy are
bound to create debate and likely frustration this year.
s the lead architect of the travel agency deregulation process now over three
years ago, I can imagine how complex and difficult it is and will be for
State and Federal Governments to deal with the various views across such a
diverse range of stakeholders.
When it comes to the software platforms themselves, for the most part, they are
really just another online travel agent.
The difference is that they have found a way to infiltrate the consumers very quickly
and gain large market share much more quickly that traditional online travel agents.
The speciality of the websites and apps means that
they have focused on one thing and are doing that one
thing very well. Airbnb in particular, as a platform or
OTA has become very popular.
They operate in Australia alongside travel agents
both online and traditional agencies and in some cases
have even found a way to work in a B2B scenario with
From the regulatory framework the actual function of
the booking engine falls in the same way as travel agents
do and as such there is no regulation or legislation for
that matter that specifically governs this function.
The travel agency community, of which more than
90% are active members of the Australian Federation of
Travel Agents have been very happy with the system of
industry lead accreditation that was put in place when
the industry was deregulated.
In my mind this part of the equation needs no
regulation, perhaps the likes of Airbnb and other
OTAs should consider joining the industry association
and becoming accredited along with their peers.
What seems to me to be the big challenge, and this is
by no means a problem that Australia has independently
of the rest of the world, is how to best balance the
enormous amount of red tape, regulation and legislation
that surrounds the accommodation industry.
Operators and owners of hotels, motels,
serviced apartments and other forms of commercial
accommodation operations do not have it easy when it
comes to the laws of the land.
Over 120 businesses have already signed up, with good
representation from the accommodation sector.
By the end of 2018, we are aiming to have 1000
supporters from every sector of the industry and every
region of New Zealand.
Acting sustainably is a smart business decision.
Well-managed, welcoming, innovative and sustainable
businesses have greater appeal to visitors who are
increasingly demanding that providers share and live
In the short term, the 2017-18 summer looks very
positive with many operators reporting strong bookings.
If the early summer run of good weather continues,
domestic travel will be strong and our three biggest
overseas source markets are all performing well. Australia
has had consistent growth, the Chinese market is
expanding again after a slowdown in early 2017, and
demand is high out of North America.
New Zealand is now served by 10 million
international airline seats a year, provided by 30 airlines
flying from 46 ports. This is roughly a 50% increase
in capacity in the last four years, and includes 11 new
airlines. The additional supply is unlocking latent demand
to travel to New Zealand, including from emerging
markets like the Philippines, South America and India.
The rest of 2018 is harder to predict. There are no big
events like last year’s Lions Rugby Tour to give an off-
peak boost. Global factors like oil prices, exchange rates
and conflict can have big impacts on travel.
Hotel occupancy levels were quite static through 2017
but rates continued to improve. However, rate growth
may slow in 2018, particularly as increased capacity comes
into key markets such as Auckland and Queenstown.
24 HM The Business of Accommodation
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