The Press Online
November 19, 1999Early Bookings
Boost Spirits in Resort Hotel
Some Queenstown hotel managers have predicted bumper bookings
from December through to March next year. Top hotels are expecting occupancy rates as high
as 90 percent after filling between 20 and 40 percent more rooms than usual this year.
Four hundred of the 2000 hotel rooms available each night in
Queenstown have been booked for a month from November 18 for cast and crew of the $360
million Lord of the Rings movie project.
General manager for the St Moritz Novotel Suites and Novotel
Queenstown Carl Braddock said Queenstown`s top range hotels had sold 54 percent more rooms
last month than they had in October, 1998. By the end of last month, the majority of
Queenstown hotels had sold 40,000 more rooms than for the 10 months until October 31 last
year, he said.
Mr Braddock attributed the growth to the weakness of the New
Zealand dollar against foreign currencies, a resurgence in the Asian market and effective
promotion. "The Korean market is definitely coming back with a hiss and a roar. Japan
is still a bit flat, but it`s certainly very, very positive," he said. A 90 percent
occupancy this summer was quite possible, he said. Novotel Queenstown was projecting a 92
percent occupancy for February next year, compared to 77 percent in February this year.
Occupancies at Rydges Queenstown were up 68 percent last
month compared with the same month last year, general manager Nick Lambert said. "For
summer we`re holding 85 percent," he said. Most hotels are almost booked out for the
New Year period.
Millbrook Resort director of sales and marketing Sue Askham
said it would be full for four days from December 30 until January 2. The last rooms had
been snapped up six months ago. Millbrook was expecting its highest summer occupancies
since opening in 1992, she said.