Sunday, February 28, 2010

Setting Future Tariff In Print

One of the vexing problems that moteliers go through every year is the need to engage a crystal ball in order to try and predict appropriate future room tariff levels. The following year’s advertising space in guide books and wholesale rate arrangements need to be fixed many months in advance.

For many operators, there is the added complication of the likelihood that GST will be raised to 15%.

So what to do?

It’s a gimmie that tariff should be increased every year by at least the rate of inflation. For a bit of indulgence the Reserve Bank Inflation Calculator is worth a look to gauge historical CPI changes.

To calculate future tariff, operators should start with their existing tariff, then add a likely guesstimate of the future rate of inflation based on historical trends, add a small margin for good measure and then round it to the nearest whole figure. This should be an exercise that will take about 10 minutes.

The main guidebooks will need to include a motel’s GST inclusive tariff rate range that is usually for 2-persons and this will need to be applicable until late 2011. Although the guidebook reps are out on the road now, it is important to realise that tariff does not have to be set in stone straight away.

I have had a few conversations with moteliers last week that were concerned about a  MANZ newsletter published recently that discussed  the probability of a GST hike in relation to motel tariff.

From what I have been told, there is an inference by MANZ that moteliers should now consider advertising tariff ex-GST. There was also mention about moteliers attaching terms and conditions (tariff riders) to published tariff such as "tariff is subject to change" or "seasonal rates may apply." 

We suggest that ALL tariff published for public consumption should remain GST inclusive. Full details of any GST changes should be announced by the government in the next Budget due on the 20 May. This will give moteliers plenty of time to amend published tariff rate ranges if necessary before publication in the main accommodation guides.

For the accommodation industry to revert back to quoting tariff ex-GST would be a giant leap backwards. Quite simply this would complicate the buying process for the consumer and add that nasty element of surprise. It has taken years to eliminate this draconian practice and it would be a tragedy to go back.

And as for adding tariff riders, this also needs to be discouraged for similar reasons. Setting future tariff requires business acumen and nous. Moteliers should be able to deliver what they promise without having to insert out-clauses.

We say that the accommodation industry should be publishing in guide books clear tariff rate ranges that cover the lowest and highest tariff for a stated number of persons for a specific term. Period.

Curious to get further feedback from other accommodation operators.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Picking Winners

We see that Labour's Sport and Recreation spokesperson, Chris Hipkins is whinging that the Rally of NZ has been denied taxpayer funding.

It appears that the usual default position for anyone holding an event is to declare that it is "an exciting tourism opportunity that will bring significant tourism dollars." This is code to demand that others should subsidize and and bear the risk.

True to form, Chris Hipkins appears to have been sucked in with the emotion and has said:
"The government ought to be proactive in finding ways to bring events like this to New Zealand and to help the Rally of NZ. Instead they have just sent them away. It's a do nothing government with no ideas for how to create jobs and grow New Zealand."
We love motorsport and anything else that burns copious quantities of fossil fuels, however if Rally of NZ organisers are unable to extract private funding from the competitors, spectators, sponsors, media outlets etc then just maybe they should be be trying harder to raise the profile of their chosen event. Maybe the organisers don't have the ability to host future international events or maybe the scale of such an event has gotten beyond the capacity of a country of  our size.

Frankly we do not know the answer, however if the expectation of corporate welfare was removed from the equation we suspect that the Kiwi petrol-head fraternity would extract from their masses the funding and the acumen that would host a kick-arse event of an appropriate scale that would reap substantial economic rewards.

We need to move on from the left wing mentality that governments create wealth and jobs. Tourism businesses and events should not be given favour and propped-up with centralist wealth redistribution. Unlike socialists wowsers, we have faith that the tourism and event marketing sectors will still be able to take on the world without the distraction of corporate welfare .

Hotel Karma Ratings

Is the travel industry at risk at drowning in a flurry of politically correct enviro-slogans?

Are the traveling public becoming jaded by the constant chest-beating and self-congratulatory back-slapping of accommodation providers that are desperately trying to hide the shame that they are a business by grandstanding their environmental, social and cultural virtues? 

Do guests really care about constant overinflated, ego-enhancing boasts by accommodation providers that are outbidding one another in a race on who can generate the most greenwash?

Well, apparently so! 

We were interested to read about a boutique travel company, Journeys Within, that believes enviro-cringe should be ramped up to a whole new level. They wish to exploit the travel market of politically correct, hand-wringing do-gooders that are inflicted with the guilt of living in a first world country by designing a new rating system for Southeast Asia hotels.

The new "Hotel Karma Ratings" measures and rates hotels based on the effectiveness of their policies to improve the world. The new rankings will help travelers who are more interested in the philanthropic work of a hotel rather than the usual: amenities, service and location.

The four-tier rating system is as follows:
Nirvana: These hotels have taken on a project or projects to support and then do so in a sustainable manner. They also take the initiative to involve their guests in the projects.

Enlightened: Enlightened hotels, similar to Nirvana ones, find and support projects that change lives or save the planet, but have not yet gotten their guests involved.

Novice: These are newbies to the game. They hire locally and give guests the option to not change their sheets and towels, but the buck stops there. While they have the right idea at heart, they have not taken the big step to become a community leader.

Non-believer: These properties have not made the effort to benefit their communities and did not even respond when asked about their practices.

At least in New Zealand, we can be confident that our official tourism quality agency would never impose such a silly, irrelevant enviro system upon accommodation providers;-)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Celebrating Human Achievement Hour - The countdown

My time management leaves a lot to be desired and I determined long ago that I am addicted to the adrenalin rush of leaving things to the very last minute.

So unusually, I have started planning one month early for this year's Earth Hour.

Naturally, I will not be joining the hippies, enviro-activists and other associated loonies around the world that will turn off their lights for one hour on Saturday 27 March 2010 in order to highlight the confused ideals of man-made global warming.

Last year we managed to bathe our motel in in light by turning on every light source we could muster as the odd building nearby sat in delusional darkness.

This year we intend to go one better and have spent today investigating hiring some industrial lighting equipment to ensure that we do our bit to confront globalised gullibility. 

After some deliberation, we have managed to reserve two of these babies from our local hire centre:  
The NIGHTSHIFTER 4000 is a self contained lighting tower that will turn night into day. Powered by a CAT diesel engine powering 4 x 1000 Watt high performance metal halide lamps.
Oh Boy! This should ensure that our motel frontage will be set ablaze by an intense white light and as an added bonus, we get to burn diesel to generate the power!

While some people return to the Dark Ages, we will be celebrating human achievement with Human Achievement Hour. Light represents man's ability to think, reason and change his environment to suit his needs.

The countdown to 27 March 2010 begins...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Entirely World Famous NZ Tour!

Entirely Kiwi, a Christchurch-based reservation specialist, recently ran a competition where the winner was awarded a three-month expenses paid trip all over New Zealand to become “Entirely World Famous in New Zealand.” This was a great campaign that attracted some good coverage in the MSM and it's not over yet...

The winner, Nicquel Rhoden will travel the length of New Zealand, participating in different activities and visiting beautiful destinations - basically just being a tourist. This vivacious Ozzie looks to be a worthy winner and her adventures will be interesting to follow.

In exchange for traveling throughout New Zealand, Nicquel will use social media to share her experiences that will hopefully generate a buzz motivating others to start their own Kiwi adventure. Along the way, Nicquel will be mainly staying at motels and this should be a tremendous opportunity to profile the New Zealand motel sector. We like that!

We were so taken with this campaign that we will be hosting Nicquel and her possie on one of her many stopovers. We also intend to drop in the odd post on "Motella" tracking her movements as she showcases the best of New Zealand travel while having a blast on her trip of a lifetime.

Follow Nicquel on: myspace, facebook, twitter, blogspot and wordpress.

We'll see you there!

Hotel Trade

Although the motel sector took the biggest hit for the 2009 year, the hotel sector was down 111,000 guest nights with international guest nights falling by 3 percent. 

It is interesting to see what effect this has had with the end of year financial results being reported at the moment. 

Millennium and Copthorne Hotels New Zealand Ltd owns, leases, manages and franchises a portfolio of 30 hotels in New Zealand under the Millennium, Copthorne and Kingsgate brands. The Company, that has hotel assets with a net book value of $326 million recorded a modest profit of $12.4 million for the year to December 2009.

Profit was down 30% and total revenue of $108 million was down from $123.7 million last year.

Trading conditions were described by the hotel's MD as "one of the firm's most difficult trading years in recent times. We remain cautious about the trading prospects for 2010 as a sustainable recovery and an increase in tourism numbers is still some way off."

Millennium and Copthorne Hotels will be paying a 1.2c a share dividend.

With optimistic announcements of new hotel developments gathering momentum as we count down for the Rugby World Cup, we think it is time to pause and reflect on the immortal words of Sir Bob Jones:
"Talk to hotel owners and you will find they live on eternal optimism. Always they'll explain about next year, how the new marketing plan, the new chain alliance, the new wing, the refurbishing plan will make them come right. But with hotels next year never comes. In an unfettered competitive environment, hotels like airlines are programmed to lose money and over any sensible period of assessment, say ten years, they all do."
The players become captivated by what they are doing. When assessed over any period of time they never make any money but the owners don't care that much. They become satisfied with mere survival so long as they can carry on. And of course, once involved, they're locked into their financial predicament compensated only by their addiction.

Some major players - the big names, Sheraton and the like - are in fact awake to the realities. Consequently they no longer own hotels. Basically they're a franchise operation, renting their name, offering a pooled marketing service and clipping the actual hotel owners ticket for a piece of their turnover, only they are not hoteliers as everyone assumes but hotel provisioners. They all started out as hotel owners but eventually they woke up. Generally the actual hotel owners wouldn't swap place with them as they love owning their hotels so much. Owning a hotel is a highly addictive pursuit and for some affluent individuals an ego gratifying hobby.
Hotel owners envisage themselves in a sparkling chandaliered hotel lobby; greeting celebrities, politicians and the like when they arrive. The cruel reality is that the owners spend most of their time in backyard financial crisis meetings."

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Validation of Blogging?

We enjoy from time to time the rantings of Michael Laws who seems to have an opinion on most topics of consequence - even the personal idiosyncrasies of bloggers:
“Blog­gers” are opin­ion­ated losers who spend way too much time in dark­ened rooms. They have porn addic­tions, sta­ple microwave pizza to their bibs, are blub­bery and smell.

This pecu­liar purview has been harbored ever since blog­ging became the online onanism. Which was the first day some idiot decided to anony­mously opine and imag­ined that peo­ple gave a continental.

I’m prob­a­bly still right. If I was to take a cross-section of blog­gers I’d wager that most don’t have a part­ner or a wardrobe, are in des­per­ate need of a stom­ach sta­ple and regard deodor­ant as the devil’s snare. They would also be exceed­ingly jeal­ous of each other: like lit­er­ary fic­tion writ­ers. Too many only chil­dren, I suspect.
OK, Michael has a few things wrong (we won't say which ones), however the one thing that gives us obsessive bloggers a wee thrill, is our mere mention on other blogs AND in the print media. Sorta alleviates some of those anxiety and validation issues...

So we were delighted to feature in the Tourism Business Magazine this month in a collection of blog and tweet profiles under the headline "Useful business blogs and tempting tweets."

Tourism Business Magazine is a great read and we suggest that you all go forth a purchase a copy - once you have, please correct our blog address on page 7 that was %*#@! misprinted!

Promoting Dead Tree Marketing

One of the quirks of the travel industry is that we are still trapped in a never-ending cycle of producing copious amounts of brochures and directories. We often note with dismay at the mountain of unread accommodation directories, maps, regional guides, activity brochures etc tossed aside and left behind by our leisure guests that regularly strip brochure racks during their travels.

One of the problems that the travel industry has is the increasing amount of brochures and directories produced that have little return on investment. There is also a seemingly increasing tendency to duplicate material that reduces the return of scarce tourism marketing funding and only serves non-producing tourism organisations to empire build.

The economic viability of producing mountains of printed literature is debatable. We ceased producing the regimental DLE sized rack cards for our motels many years ago.

With the Rugby World Cup fast descending upon us, every RTO, government funded institution and private tourism business will be adding further layer of dead wood promotion material to landfills with increased gusto - guess who will be paying?

We love irony and hypocrisy, so it is with passing interest we note that the self appointed guardians of environmental evangelism, Qualmark NZ partnered with their minority shareholder, the AA to produce the second edition of the Qualmark New Zealand Travel Guide.

We estimate that the 2010 edition will have a similar print print run to last year's 15,000. With a little under 900 pages, this weighty annual doorstop that cut and pastes information from other paper based material will produce over 13 tonnes of waste.

We are sure that environmentalists would be horrified, however we are more concerned about the economic viability and the opportunity cost to the travel industry. Although the Qualmark New Zealand Travel Guide is promoted to operators as a free add-on, the publication has a (substantial) cost - and it's always the operator that pays in the end.

Thursday, February 18, 2010 Takes Flight

Robbie Cooke Wotifgroup MD and CEO 

Back in November 2009, we did a post on's plan to move into air travel. Yesterday, Wotif launched its new site in Australia, Wotflight ( that claims to offer one of the widest ranges of domestic Australian flight bookings available online. 

We were interested to see if there would be any attempt at packaging flights and accommodation - Well, apparently not, however we see that all flight bookings from will recieve a $AUD10.00 accommodation voucher that can be used on The voucher is transferable and valid for 6-months.

We think that the look and feel of the new site is very clean and intuitive that complements the look of its big sister accommodation site very well.

We like the subtlety of cross selling accommodation from and the simple reciprocal hotlinks from A clear definition and call to action has been maintained between and We like that.

Wotif have ignored the temptation to package and appears to be developing two distinct brands. We look forward to taking off in New Zealand later this year.

A kind reader pointed out the fees that will be charging.

Online reservations will incur a $AUD16.95 Booking Fee per reservation.

Unfortunately, any changes, amendments or cancellations of flights can not be done on the website and must be advised via email or to a call centre. Acceptance will be subject to the terms and conditions of the airline.

Any charges or amendments that are able to be made where permitted by the airline, will incur a $AUD39.00 Change/amendment Fee.

Any cancellations that are able to be made where permitted by the airline, will incur a $AUD29.00 Cancellation Fee.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tourism Industry Demands $97m Queens Wharf

Been busy at the motel this week and have decided to do some lazy blogging.

In a brief rest between bell rings, we discovered the AKT Blog (originally Auckland Trains Blog) that covers most transportation issues. 

We were interested in the discussion taking place about proposed cruise ship terminal in Auckland. The writer, Jon C doesn't necessarily assume the most common default position that the taxpayer should pay:
The tourism industry groups are stepping up their campaign for a cruise terminal in Auckland – but like the Ports of Auckland seems to expect the government (that’s you and me as taxpayers) to be paying. 

Tourism Industry Association Chief Executive Tim Cossar says the industry wants a world-class cruise ship terminal for Auckland that will meet the new Super City’s needs for the future, and emphasises that its preference is for the $97 million cruise ship facility and public open space on Queens Wharf.

He says the industry is not in favour of a short term option or temporary-fix facility that won’t meet the long term demands of the lucrative cruise market. READ MORE...

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Year In Review

So how did last year's trading go?

With December 2009 Guest Accommodation Survey figures now in, we can now collate the full year's guest night results.

For the 2009 year, total guest nights were 1 percent lower than total guest nights in the 2008 year. While any decrease is disappointing we can at least resign ourselves that this overall result was not as bad as some were predicting.

For the 2009 year, South Island operators were able to more or less maintain guest nights recorded the previous year, while North Island operators let the side down dropping guest nights by 2 percent. 

While the disparity between the North and South Islands is significant, what we have found most interesting is the distribution of guest nights amongst the accommodation sectors.

It would appear that the motel sector has again worn the brunt of the downturn by recording the largest guest night decrease of all accommodation sectors, down 304,000 guest nights (3 percent).

This compares to hotels down 111,000 guest nights (1 percent) and holiday parks down 105,000 guest nights (2 percent). Backpackers had the only increase in guest nights over the year, up 53,000 (1 percent).

For the 2009 year, international guest nights fell 3 percent compared with 2008. This decline contributed 81 percent of the fall in total guest nights and would have contributed significantly in the decline in guest nights recorded in the hotel sector.

For the 2009 year, it was pleasing that domestic guest nights fared much better by falling less than 1 percent. With over 70 percent of motel occupancies traditionally made up of Kiwi guests, we would have thought that the better relative performance of domestic v international guest nights would have reflected comparatively well on the motel sector? Not so!

The hotel sector overtook the motel sector by hosting more guest nights in 2008 and have solidified their crown in 2009. 

It is easy for the motel sector to use the tough economic times as an apology for bleeding guest nights in 2008 and 2009, however, it must be accepted that other accommodation sectors are becoming smarter and eating into motel's market share.

Why is this? We have several theories, however are interested in what you think?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Has Motella Become A Campervan Cuddler?

We have been guilty of posting "ban the van" type posts before. For us, there is nothing more satisfying than posting a video of a caravan blowing up or crashing.

We are unashamedly self-serving and have intolerance for alternative forms of accommodation such as campervans, caravans and all other forms of camping. We often poke fun at "motel-dodgers"and often wonder why some people are not aware that motels should be used for holiday accommodation purposes!

We may be one-eyed, however we believe that the enlightened members of the public drive cars between motels while on holiday. Only a special class of person clogs the highways and visually pollutes the scenery with dingy mean-spirited campervans and caravans.

However, we now find ourselves having to briefly remove our tongue from our cheek and defend...*gasp*...campervans!

We were amused to read in the headline in yesterday's New Zealand Herald: Otago Conservation Board wants a national ban on campervans. 

Surely this is an enlightened idea? Er...No! While we enjoy poking fun at the self-sufficient accommodation fraternity we treat do-gooders wishing to impose bans, licensing and regulation on the tourism industry with disdain. 

I have mingled with Conservation Boards before and after looking up the members of the Otago Conservation Board on the internet have determined that there appears to be a certain type of numpty attracted to these positions. 

Typically they are non-producing, professional committee seat warmers dominated by academics, school teachers, governmental bureaucrats and city councilors that have never worked in the private sector. These earnest, condescending types are quick to tell others what to do.  Their usual attire is a beard, high waisted shorts, socks & sandals and they are often not afraid to dodge deodorant.

We agree with AA Tourism CE, Peter Blackwell that said: " a general call to ban camper vans in New Zealand was absolute lunacy." 

We suggest that the Otago Conservation Board focus on their possum breeding program and get a grasp of real-world reality. 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Leaky Building Syndrome?

We note that the Hilton in Auckland have closed 12-rooms on the seaward bow of the hotel to repair a major leak problem.

Mrs Motella and I stayed there a few years ago and for a "new" building it was showing some subtle signs wear and tear back then. The Hilton is situated in a fantastic part of Auckland and juts out into an exposed harsh marine environment. The building would need an extensive maintenance schedule to keep it looking sharp and watertight!

One unique aspect that we wonder may have contributed to the repairs that are now necessary, became apparent to us during our stay. After admiring the twinkling lights of Devonport from our balcony at night, we were awoken early the next morning by an enormous passenger ship parallel parking outside our room. 

What amazed us was the intensity of the seismic vibration that went through the building as the ship nudged the wharf. After turning to my wife and asking the the obligatory question; "did the earth move for you too?" I can remember wondering what ongoing damage this would be doing to the building?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

December Guest Night Stats

The latest accommodation survey results for December have been released by Statistics New Zealand - Doesn't December seem sooo long ago!

Following positive news earlier this month of  record overseas visitor arrivals for December, total guest nights in short-term commercial accommodation for December 2009 were up 4 percent compared to December last year.

The South Island continues to out perform the North Island. When compared with December 2008, guest nights in the North Island were up 3 percent with the South Island again propping up overall guest nights by achieving a 6 percent gain. 

Eleven of the 12 regions recorded more guest nights in December 2009 compared with December 2008. The regions showing the largest increases were split between the North and South Island:
  • Otago, up 39,000 (10 percent)
  • Canterbury, up 25,000 (5 percent)
  • Bay of Plenty, up 23,000 (7 percent) 
  • Northland, up 16,000 (9 percent)
The only region with a decrease in guest nights was Hawke's Bay/Gisborne, down 12,000 (8 percent). 

International visitor guest nights in December 2009 contributed the most to the overall guest night improvement with an increase of 7 percent compared with December 2008. 

It was pleasing that domestic guest nights reversed the negative trend achieved last month by increasing 3 percent from December 2008.

For the first time in many months all four accommodation types had more guest nights in December 2009 than in December 2008:
  • Hotels, up 66,000 (8 percent)
  • Holiday parks, up 28,000 (3 percent)
  • Backpackers, up 24,000 (5 percent)
  • Motels, up 19,000 (2 percent).
Hotels had the highest occupancy rate (53 percent) of all the accommodation types in December
2009, followed by backpackers (48 percent), and motels (47 percent).

Traditionally, December is one of the quieter trading months and it has to be said that when compared to a low base month last year the results while pleasing are not remarkable. We are looking forward to January's results that will give a very good insight into the economic health of the accommodation industry. 

The guest night distribution amongst the accommodation sectors in January may also be revealing.

Source: Click HERE

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hotel Hell Vacation

HomeAway is an OTA that claims to have the world’s largest collection of vacation rental homes with nearly 430,000 listings across 120 countries.

HomeAway are on a mission to convince the public to forget about those pesky hotels and motels and rent private homes instead. They are putting their money where their mouth is and are spending millions to spread the word by trashing conventional commercial accommodation!

For maximum exposure, the 2010 Super Bowl was used as the launching pad for HomeAway's latest multi-media advertising campaign, “Hotel Hell Vacation”.

Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo and the Family Truckster make a return from the 1980s Griswold's Family Vacation movies in a new 14-minute mini-movie to promote HomeAway. The movie (below) shows us just how bad a hotel experience can be and compares this to a beautiful seaside private residence at the end of the Griswold's latest road trip. This was aired on television in America between Superbowl game time.

Supporting media is online at HomeAway and a micro site has been set up HERE, with video content, an on-line game and a contest offering $40,000 in prizes. In order to promote engagement and extended interest, the public are invited to share an experience of their own “Hotel Hell Vacation.” Participants may enter any of four themed contest categories, including “Outrageous Hotel Bills,” “Cramped Hotel Quarters,” “Wish I Had a Kitchen,” and “Other Hotel Woes.”

Watch out for targeted online advertising appearing on general interest and travel-focused web sites. Social media includes Facebook and Twitter. 

HomeAway also plan to take its exact replica of the Griswold's Family Truckster on the road to visit popular vacation destinations in America to further spread the word about the "benefits and value of vacation rentals." 

Behind the hilarity and ingenuity of this this campaign is a major player in the private rental holiday home sector seriously challenging the motel and hotel sectors.  

We are aware that there is an increasing trend for holiday makers to book private homes. In New Zealand, we are wary that websites such as the AA's Bookabach and TradeMe's Holidayhouses are generating increased traffic on the web.

We are interested to follow this trend and wonder where this is taking us? 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Green Police

As a Motella exclusive we can reveal for the first time the training video that has inspired legions of earnest Qualmark inspectors to go forth and impose an environmental mantra on unsuspecting accommodation providers:

Hat tip: No Minister

The Hotel In The Sky

Moteliers that have invested in the concept of offering static guest rooms in single level sausage shaped blocks may be left behind if the latest vision for future accommodation takes off.

Design and innovation company, Seymourpowell has come up with a "hotel in the sky" concept they have called, Aircruise. They propose that a giant, vertical airship powered by natural energy will carry travellers in style and luxury.

We often wonder where you can sign on to become part of a working party that comes up with this wacky stuff!

Source: Click HERE

Quicky Motels To Be Taxed More

The innovation and lengths that bureaucrats will go to in order to extract tax has no bounds.

With a reduction of the corporate income tax rate and income tax exemptions for minimum wage workers in Manila, The Bureau of Internal Revenue has been thinking outside the square and are targeting motels to provide additional income streams.

Motels in Manila not only pay income tax but are also charged a value-added tax based on 1.5% of their daily occupancy rate.

It seems that The Bureau of Internal Revenue are not satisfied that the motels are paying their due. They claim that many motel guest rooms have high daily turnover rates due to "trysting lovers" that only stay for a few hours and are not being accounted for in daily occupancy rates.

In order to patch up this anomaly, it is proposed that the value-added tax could be raised to 2-3% in time for Valentines Day.

If this is not accepted, other taxation schemes may be considered in Manila that could  include counting the number of towels and bedsheets used in motels on a daily basis!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Is the Recession For Tourism Over?

A great discussion topic over at the Tourism Industry Blog: 
We have seen some positive statistics released from Tourism New Zealand on Friday in their article “Optimism Up As Record Arrivals Kick-Start Summer” that show arrivals into New Zealand for December 2009 we up nearly 6% over December 2008 with our Australian VFR market contributing considerably towards that and even arrivals from the US market increased by over 11%.
There are mixed comments from the regions as to whether tourism operators have benefited, in this NZ Herald article numbers are still reported as “patchy” in the Auckland Region but a successful summer for tourism in Northland.

Do these numbers indicate we are out of the recession for the tourism industry?  
Read more....

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lisa Lewis Checks-out

Lisa Lewis is a friend of the Motella Blog, a perennial user of motels AND has our support for her nomination in the 2010 Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award. 

We were looking forward to Lisa competing toe-to-toe with "mainstream" business woman nominees, however it has today been reported that she has sadly missed the cut.

We have yet to ascertain if any of the five successful finalists regularly use motels while pursuing their respective business careers?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Why tangi Day?

Are we the only ones feeling a tinge of cultural cringe?
Stolen from: Crusader Rabbit

Telephone Answering Machine Message

One of our more innovative readers sent us the following telephone voice message that was allegedly used at Maroochydore High School in Queensland.

Hmmm...maybe the authenticity could be somewhat dubious, however it has been suggested that this could be easily amended for a motel telephone answering message:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Indroducing The Tourism Industry Blog

While we are still busy with the day job, why not head over to a new blog that has amalgamated various commentary from the New Zealand tourism industry.

Our virtual friend, Michelle Ackers of ADEPT Marketing has launched a new blog, that publishes ongoing online articles written by a variety of tourism industry contributors that provides an ideal platform for collective knowledge and discussion.

I'll see you over there soon...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Joy Of Travel

"It is better to travel well than to arrive."
  - Buddha  

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."
  - Maya Angelou 

“All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.”
 - Samuel Johnson

Only goes to prove that cultures worlds apart can seemingly have some things in common;-)

We're back!

We are finally back at the motel and busy catching up...

Taking a regular break in this game is necessary for the sanity, however it takes a lot of planning before and some time after to attend to matters neatly piled up by our motel minders.

We often joke to our minders as we leave on holiday about the disasters that they may have to endure. Previously, while looking after our motel  they have experienced a major earthquake, storms that closed roads, a burst pipe that flooded unit, a commercial dryer imploding and even the threat of tsunamis. Luckily, the only disaster that occurred while we were away was a small fire in one of our units. One of our first jobs was to get the unit back into operation and prepare an insurance claim. I think the only disaster left that our hapless minders may have yet to contend with while looking after our motel is a plague of locusts. Watch this space!

Our household has lost the boisterous activities of my son, as he has been deposited back at his boarding school. My daughter has started intermediate school and seems to have been lucky by being assigned a good teacher in the lottery that is state education.

With the return of school, the rhythm of the motel has changed. This is the most popular month for our kiwi comfortable retirees that launch their highly polished Honda Civics on an impromptu road trip. Couples from overseas continue to travel and we welcome back with open arms our core rep market.

I have a feeling it's gonna be a great year! 

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