Since March 2020, New Zealand’s borders have been closed to all those except for returning citizens and permanent residents. A strong increase in domestic tourism and the Government MIQ programme have alleviated some of the downward pressure on sales felt by hotel operators; however, this has not been enough to fully make up for the lack of international tourists and the associated downturn in hotel occupancies.
In 2016, the Auckland Council introduced the Accommodation Providers Targeted Rate (APTR) – a targeted tax on lodging providers in the region (although not technically a ‘bed tax’), at a cost of NZD14.5 million per year to the industry.
Prior to the onset of COVID-19, it was noted that New Zealand had a significant under-supply of hotels – particularly at the higher end. This has been addressed through the opening of the Park Hyatt and The Hotel Briotmart hotels in Auckland – both accredited as 5-star – as well as the Travelodge and QT Auckland hotels in Auckland and The Intrepid Wellington, all of which are 4-star hotels.
Border closures placed significant strain on hotel operators due to the lack of international tourists. The Government has rented 32 hotels across the country since April 2020 to serve as Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) facilities, with it being mandatory for returning citizens and permanent residents to spend two weeks in such facilities on arrival.
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