Hospitality Business Magazine

Wellington tops hotel booking chart

Data by SiteMinder, the global hotel industry’s leading guest acquisition platform, has revealed New Zealand led the world in hotel bookings growth during the last week of May.

The SiteMinder World Hotel Index shows the country’s hotel bookings that have gone from strength-to-strength since its national lockdown began easing. They now sit at over half (55.54%) of last year’s booking levels and will likely accelerate further if plans proceed to allow Australian visitors from 1 July.

Wellington is currently leading the momentum, with hotel bookings at 52.23% of 2019 levels, followed by Christchurch (35.33% YoY) and Auckland (33.47% YoY).

During Queen’s Birthday weekend Kiwis also jumped back into domestic travel faster than anywhere else in the world with short term accommodation bookings returning to life .That’s according to analysts AirDNA, which said New Zealand Airbnb and other short term rentals bookings were last week 465 per cent higher than during the week beginning Monday, April 6 – just after the country entered level 4 lockdown.

That compared to a 367 per cent jump in bookings in Germany in the same period, 202 per cent jump in US bookings, 200 per cent rise in France and 189 per cent increase in Australia.

Queenstown also had the biggest return to action percentage-wise of anywhere in New Zealand or Australia. Bookings were up 960 per cent in the famous South Island destination from just 111 bookings in the week of April 6, to 1,177 bookings last week.

Australia’s Blue Mountains, just outside of Sydney, had the next biggest jump in bookings followed by Wellington in third spot with a 688 per cent jump from 216 bookings five weeks ago to 1253 bookings last week.

And from Friday May 29, up we went – nearly 400 flights were scheduled in and out of Auckland’s domestic and international airports for the weekend.

The number was well down on pre-pandemic Queen’s Birthday weekends, when our busiest airport would normally cater to up to 1200 domestic and 600 international flights, airport general manager of operations Anna Cassels-Brown said.

But travellers’ confidence was encouraging, she said, the same day Kiwis learned there remained just one active case of Covid-19 within our closed borders.

Kiwis started booking domestic trips as soon as level 2 was announced and packages at Flight Centre NZ have jumped 124 per cent.