Hotel tourism and leisure -
Welcome to the first edition of Bayleys’ Hotel, Tourism & Leisure (HTL) for 2022 which launches as the country collectively starts to exhale after a protracted period of pandemic flux.
In talking to industry contacts and clients, there’s a sense of excitement about the return of travel freedoms and the reopening of the New Zealand border to international visitors.
With the recent announcement that the border reopening will be fast-tracked, it is hoped that a ski holiday in New Zealand will resonate with our trans-Tasman neighbours who are only a short flight away; that others looking for a break during our winter season will follow suit, and that the ball keeps on rolling.
Business travel will soon commence again and there are encouraging forward bookings for conferences and events – hinging, however, on more certainty returning to the market, including our aviation industry.
The hotel sector is about to have a reset, with all but four of the facilities that were appropriated for managed isolation being returned to the visitor accommodation pool, and we expect to see significant refurbishment and maybe rebranding in the marketplace to reassure travellers.
While the mood is reasonably positive out there, I know that for many accommodation operators and tourism businesses, the economic and mental path they’ve navigated throughout the pandemic has been incredibly taxing.
There have been some business casualties – but all credit to the wider sector for refusing to lie down in a bed, not of their own making.
Pre-pandemic, tourism was our largest export earner and while we have some work ahead of us to reclaim that title, I am feeling encouraged by the optimism of a battle-weary sector.
The focus now for the accommodation and tourism industry will be rebuilding our international visitor economy while still encouraging the domestic market to see more of New Zealand.
Slowly but surely, the pressure valve will be released and we have the challenge of converting the market from the initial rush of visiting friends and relatives into high-spending tourists.
Let’s see how it plays out – tempered somewhat by the Russia-Ukraine conflict unfolding which could compromise confidence for European and other long-haul travellers.
Bayleys’ HTL team is working hard on the transactional business and property side of the accommodation and tourism sector coin as owners recognise that now is a good time to sell.
Existing players in the industry are on an acquisition trail and looking to reposition themselves in an opportunistic market, and returning ex-pats are expected to find value in a commercial accommodation business that combines an income stream with a home.
Bayleys is altogether better in the hotels, tourism and leisure sector.
Talk to us today if there’s an opportunity you’d like to explore, or if change is on your horizon.