Tourism stats show promise for Rotorua bed and breakfast owners
Video Published in NZ Herald, 7 June 2020
When it comes to looking after her guests, Viv Cooper is a pro. For 14 years she's run a bed and breakfast in Rotorua, looking after some well-known faces, like All Blacks captain Sam Cane, along the way.
Accommodation around New Zealand has taken a major hit in the wake of Covid-19. But revealing new statistics suggest that bed and breakfast providers like Viv may stand to benefit from the drop in the market.
"I think with the research Look After Me undertook, it demonstrates that the traditional hotel-stays might take a bit of a hit," said Colin MacPhee, co-Director, Look After Me, said.
"I actually think the bed and breakfast sector, the self-contained units etc, will see a lift."
Look After Me particpated in an initiative called 'Hack the Crisis' bringing entrepreneurs together while also creating solutions for tourists.
"We found that before Covid, preferentially people were interested in hotels, whereas after Covid, self-contained units and holiday houses sort of shot to the top of the list," said Julia Anne, Managing Director of Look After Me.
"We also found that cleanliness became the number one factor people are looking for, even nudging slightly ahead of comfort, price and Wi-Fi.
"I think the discovery that 72 per cent of people want to drive, is really helpful for a region like Rotorua - we are close to Auckland. With the hobbies and interests, it means we can tailor three to five day holidays around nurture and nature, soak and cycle, really compelling people not just to come for the tourist attractions, but very interested in appealing to a wider audience.
"Not just the families but perhaps the baby-boomers, retirees who may be interested in soft adventure."
The research also revealed that 46 per cent of people questioned were keen to travel domestically once restrictions eased and smaller accommodation providers offered a solution for those wanting a more personalised travel experience.
"I guess the concept of a bed and breakfast in a private home is still pretty new to a lot of Kiwis. They might think 'Hey, why do we want to stay in somebody else's home?," said Cooper.
"In post-Covid, I think this concept is really going to take off because people are going to say 'Hey, I made a friend in Rotorua!' or 'I discovered something that was not in the guidebook.'
"The things that a local wants to do, a lot of people may not know if they don't stay in a bed and breakfast. Hotel and motel receptionists will have no time to tell you about all the private, secret spots."
"In 2012, Rotorua tourism was worth about $330 million," said MacPhee. "By 2018-2019 that number was up to about $840 million. About half of that was from the domestic market.
"Rotorua has grown significantly over the last eight years or so, with the domestic market at the core. So, obviously Covid has stopped people travelling anywhere but I believe the domestic market will come back and with the activities in the city, Rotorua accommodation should bounce back pretty easily."
That is news that Vivien Cooper, along with many other bed and breakfast owners will be delighted to hear.