New Zealand

Holiday parks proving popular with Kiwi travellers

Many New Zealand holiday parks are welcoming more visitors than they were the same time last year.

Stats show that holiday parks both here and Australia are more popular than ever and appear to be considered a safe accommodation choice post COVID19.

Holiday Parks New Zealand (HPNZ) Chief Executive Fergus Brown says:

Holiday parks are bucking the trend that we are seeing across many other types of accommodation like hotels, motels and backpackers.

Accommodation Data Programme results for August show that holiday parks recorded 358,700 guest nights, 11.1 percent or 35,700 up on August 2019. In comparison, hotel guest nights were down 47.2 percent, motels were down 30.9 percent and backpackers fell 53.4 percent.

Mr Brown explained: “Holiday parks have always had a strong domestic base and these figures show that Kiwi travellers are keener than ever to enjoy a change of scene, even during winter. This is no doubt helped by some of the great deals that are available from campervan rental providers.”

On a regional basis, Taupō, Taranaki, Nelson-Tasman, West Coast and Wanaka each recorded substantial increases in guest nights, compared to August 2019.

AccomNews reached out to David Ovendale CEO of TOP 10 Holiday Parks Group, who told us:

After a disastrous March – May, we have recovered very well since going to level 1 (the first time around) with both June and July strongly up on the same months prior year. August, despite the Auckland situation and the rest of the country going to level 2, was solid for many parks although not those which have Aucklanders as their key winter customers, nor for Northland parks that were effectively cut off from the rest of the country over that period. To some extent, South Island parks also felt the impact of Aucklanders not being able to travel.

“Forward bookings all the way through to January (when the schools go back) are looking good. As NZ’s premium holiday park group, pre-COVID, from a consolidated perspective, we had a 50/50 domestic/international split with the international travel quite heavily weighted to February through to the end April. It looks very unlikely those internationals will be on the ground early next year and whilst domestic, which we are all enormously grateful for, will hold up Christmas & NY/January until the schools go back, from February it could get very interesting and is the period we have real concerns about.

“Obviously there is lots of water to go under lots of bridges between now and then and things can still change dramatically, but we are mindful we are likely to have a tough trading window in the late summer and into the autumn & winter. To this end, individual parks and the collective group, will be working very hard to exceed (domestic) customer expectations through the summer months and bring them back as repeat business through the quieter times ahead. At the same time, sorry farmers, but we are hoping for a warmer, drier than normal summer across the whole country!”

According to HPNZ holiday parks across the country are busy for the school holidays but space is still available in most regions. Mr Brown says: “There is a perception that the holiday parks are best in summer or for a camping trip. In fact, many now have high-grade built accommodation and offer all-weather activities to suit all kinds of travellers.”

An added benefit of staying in a holiday park is that continued support of commercial accommodation will save hundreds of jobs in the regions, especially in smaller towns with a large reliance on the visitor economy.

He says those who intend to get away over the Christmas/New Year period should book early, especially if they want to stay in the traditional New Zealand summer hotspots.

He advises: “We are already seeing strong demand for the peak holiday period, so we recommend that holidaymakers contact their preferred parks as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

“You can stay at a holiday park for a really competitive price, enjoy a well-deserved break, and feel good about supporting local businesses and jobs at the same time. If we can return a portion of what we would usually spend internationally to our local businesses this year, we’ll all be in a far better position coming out of the crisis.”

Accommodation Data Programme guest night measures, August 2020

NB August 2020 statistics are drawn from the ADP, while the August 2019 results were recorded by the Accommodation Survey which ceased in November 2019.

 

NZ Guest Nights August (000)

Hotels

Motels

Backpackers

Holiday parks

Total

2019

1,111.0

870.0

313.0

323.0

2770.8

2020

586.5

601.6

146.0

358.7

1700.0

Actual Change

-524.5

-268.4

-167.0

35.7

-1070.8

% Change

-47.2%

-30.9%

-53.4%

11.1%

-38.6%

 

 

Holiday Park guest nights – North Island

 

Guest Nights August (000)

Northland

Coromandel

Rotorua

Taupō

Taranaki

2019

30.0

22.0

18.7

11.9

5.8

2020

29.0

12.4

7.4

23.5

7.8

Actual Change

-1.0

-9.6

-11.3

11.6

2.0

% Change

-3.3%

-43.6%

-60.4%

97.5%

34.5%

 

 

Holiday Park guest nights – South Island

NB Queenstown figures are not available due to sample size

 

Guest Nights August (000)

Marlborough

Nelson-Tasman

West Coast

Canterbury

Wanaka

2019

10.3

18.2

15.0

43.2

16.6

2020

7.6

26.3

17.4

21.5

20.1

Actual Change

-2.7

8.1

2.4

-21.7

3.5

% Change

-26.2%

44.5%

16.0%

-50.2%

21.1%

 

 

Web:   www.holidayparks.co.nz

 

Key facts:

  • The holiday park sector provides 36% of New Zealand’s commercial accommodation capacity and 20% of commercial guest nights
  • In the year ended September 2019 holiday parks hosted 8.5 million guest nights up 3% over the previous year
  • Guest nights to holiday parks are made up of 35% international visitors and 65% domestic visitors
  • While staying at holiday parks guests contribute over $1 billion in direct expenditure to local communities
  • Approximately $612 million (60%) of the expenditure is from domestic travellers with the balance of $405 million (40%) spent by international travellers.

Expenditure by international visitors contributes directly to New Zealand’s export earnings.

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AccomNews is not affiliated with any government agency, body or political party. We are an independently owned, family-operated magazine.

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