Hotel occupancy lifts 2% but ADR, RevPAR both jump 11% in 2017

Hotel occupancy rates across New Zealand rose by 2% last year but average daily rates and revenue per available room both jumped 11% during the same period.

Occupancy rates for hotels reached a record 69.8% in 2017, according to Stats NZ’s latest commercial accommodation data, with Auckland recording the highest rate of 82.4%. Of the country’s major markets, Wellington, Queenstown and Christchurch followed with occupancy rates of 80.5%, 79.5% and 75.2% respectively.

However, hotel ADRs across the country increased by 10.9% to $190.47 and RevPAR increased by 11.4% to $154.58, according to an analysis by CBRE.

Queenstown was the most expensive hotel market in the country with ADR increasing by 16.3% to $225.43. RevPAR at the resort jumped by 16.1% to $185.96, the fastest growth reported across the country for 2017, albeit down on 2016’s 22.1%.

Queenstown hotel occupancy grew by 2.4% over the year.

“After a sustained period of strong occupancy growth it appears that [Queenstown hotel] occupancy levels have plateaued with little change in occupancy since mid-2016,” said CBRE.

“Similar to other markets across the country it appears that Queenstown has reached a saturation point with increases in occupancy relying on growth in the low season as a monthly occupancy rate in excess of 85% was achieved in six months of 2017.”

Auckland hotel ADRs rose 14.5% to $209.92 and RevPAR grew by 14.6% to 181.69% over 2017, according to data supplied to CBRE from Tourism Industry Aotearoa. However, occupancy fell slightly to 82.4% from 2016’s 82.7%, according to Stats NZ.

Overall, the occupancy rate of New Zealand’s short-term commercial accommodation rose to a record 44.9% in the year to December 2017, an increase of 1.3% on 2016.

“In 2017, high occupancy rates for hotels in our main cities coincided with more building consents issued for new hotels,” said Stats NZ’s accommodation and construction statistics manager, Melissa McKenzie.

While hotels had the highest occupancy rate of the accommodation types, occupancy for motels and holiday parks also reached record levels in 2017.

The occupancy rate for motels rose 1.5% to 60.9% while holiday parks had the lowest occupancy rate, up 1.2% to 20%.

Holiday parks typically have a lower annual occupancy rate than the other accommodation types, mainly due to their seasonal nature and the high volumes of tent sites that pull down the occupancy rate when not in use, said Stats NZ.

The rate for backpacker accommodation increased slightly, up 0.6% to 44.7%.

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