Bay of Plenty accommodation providers get future-ready

Business confidence amongst local accommodation providers is proving strong as they invest in their facilities and prepare for market recovery.

Accommodation providers are choosing the post-COVID-19 period to enhance their businesses by carrying out important building work, renovations, and improvements.

“It’s really positive to see this confidence in the market. Now is a great time for businesses to get future-ready,” says Tourism Bay of Plenty Product Manager, Brad Rowe.

“COVID-19 has been tough for providers throughout New Zealand and it has impacted hard, but the Coastal Bay of Plenty has a strong domestic visitor market. We’re working hard to keep enticing Kiwis to holiday here while also future-proofing and developing our tourism industry.”

He says many providers are taking a 30-year viewpoint and can see the value in investing now for the future.

Harbourside City Backpackers is currently carrying out extensive earthquake strengthening and renovations. It is expected to re-open mid-October.

Owner, Sarah Meadows, says they rely heavily on the international market, however, once renovations are complete, their accommodation offering will be more appealing to the domestic market.

“We are adding 42 new rooms, which will include more double and twin rooms with en-suites as well as a special group area for up to 30 guests,” she says.

“Until the borders re-open and we see more international visitors, we have to do things a bit differently and the renovations are timed well to grow our New Zealand customer base.”

Sarah believes the renovations will help to bring more vibrancy and life to downtown Tauranga.

Owner of 850 Cameron Hotel, Tony Bullot, says he made the strategic decision to compete at the top end of the market and has refurbished the hotel’s rooms to go beyond customers’ expectations. This has included soft refurbishments such as installing top-end TVs and phone charging docks.

“The tourism industry was hammered during lockdown, but I believe that recovery is only based on confidence, and we feel positive about the future,” he says.

Mount Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park is also adding more self-contained units to add capacity, while Hotel Armitage is upgrading its rooms and corporate centre.

General Manager at Hotel Armitage, Nicolas Caffardo says they are committed to investing in the Tauranga economy.

“While conferencing numbers are down, it’s an ideal time to be doing renovations. Once complete, the new conference facility will give us a greater opportunity to market our business,” he says.

With 80 percent of the Coastal Bay of Plenty’s visitor market being domestic travellers, the region is uniquely positioned for positive post-COVID-19 recovery. Tourism Bay of Plenty’s destination management plan ensures the organisation can provide practical advice and tools to help local businesses evolve to meet the increased domestic demand and ensure Tourism Bay of Plenty’s future growth in a time when tourism faces unprecedented change.

Launched in March, TBOP’s destination management plan Te Hā Tāpoi | The Love of Tourism aims to increase domestic visitor numbers and ultimately generate income for our retail and hospitality sectors, as well as keep our local tourism industry in jobs.

“Years of planning went into developing Te Hā Tāpoi, which lays out the road map for well-planned product development, and marketing, product and operator initiatives to drive visitation to our region,” says Tumuaki | CE of Tourism Bay of Plenty Kristin Dunne.

This story is part of TIA's #TourismChampions campaign. View more inspirational stories here