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Slow progress reopening Christchurch hotels


Published on Mar 28, 2012

More than a year after an earthquake reduced much of Christchurch to rubble, hotels in the city are reopening at a slower rate than expected. Speaking at New Zealand Hotel Council’s (NZHC) 2011 Annual Operating Survey presentation in Christchurch yesterday, NZHC Executive Officer Rachael Shadbolt said that severe aftershocks in June and December, as well as delays from insurers and local authorities, have made it diffi cult for hotels to set firm reopening dates. The event heard that the city’s hotel room inventory dropped from 3,717 pre-February 2011 to 853 rooms after the earthquake. Most hotels that are currently operating have signifi cantly increased occupancy and average room rates.

In 2011 Christchurch’s eight operational NZHC member hotels had an 85% occupancy rate and an average daily rate (ADR) of NZ$136 (US$111). “Our focus for the next couple of years is on re-establishing the hotel stock in the city, proactively encouraging visitors to return and working… to ensure the convention centre is rebuilt as soon as possible,” Ms Shadbolt said. “That facility is a significant provider of business to hotels, particularly in the winter months and it is vital it is rebuilt quickly. There’s no point reopening hotels if there’s no-one there to fill them.”

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