Martin Snedden has criticised hoteliers for engaging in price gouging during the World Masters Games risking the ire of councillors preparing to vote on Auckland’s targeted rate proposal.
The former NZ cricketer and head of Rugby World Cup told the Ticker at Auckland Aiport’s International Travel Summit yesterday that there was no doubt hoteliers had engaged in exorbitant price hikes.
“There absolutely was price gouging during the event,” said Snedden. “If you have a room that normally goes for $200-$300 a night and then suddenly jumps to $800-$900, then if that’s not price gouging, what is?”
Snedden, who was on the board of the directors for the World Masters Games 2017, said he met with hotel leaders to discuss the issue but was told demand was high and prices had to reflect that.
“You know the problem with that is you have Auckland councillors who will vote [on mayor Phil Goff’s accommodation targeted rate proposal] and what they would have seen may affect how they vote.”
Snedden rejected claims by the industry that there were not any exorbitant hikes. The Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) said this week the occupancy rate of 88% for the month of the games, April, was down on March’s 94%.
In March, the average room rate was $232 and in April the average room rate fell to $207, according to the TIA.
“You know what an 88% occupancy rate tells me?” said Snedden. “It tells me that the industry has missed an opportunity.”