Queenstown puts up ‘no vacancy’ signs


Finding a room in Queenstown is going to be impossible – for the second week running.

The coincidence of Chinese New Year and the Cricket World Cup in what is the resort’s peak visitor month is adding pressure to accommodation providers. 

Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd says it’s a mark of success.

“There will be many people who won’t be able to get accommodation, but that’s the same all over the world in a hot holiday destination.

“It’s not a problem. We just need to manage visitors’ expectations in the appropriate way.” 

A growing number of Chinese are choosing to visit Queenstown for the national holiday.

The Year of the Sheep, or Goat, begins on Thursday, and the Chinese national holiday starts on Wednesday and continues until February 24. 

Budd says the effect of the Chinese New Year holiday became noticeable about four years ago, and demand for accommodation has continued to rise year on year.

However, with high accommodation demand becoming sustained throughout the year, the resort is getting to the point where investment in accommodation is being considered, he says.

Tourism Industry Association hotel sector regional chairwoman Penny Clark says the resort was full last week, and the ”no vacancy” signs will remain up for another week.

Last year, the Chinese New Year national holiday began in January, which “spread the load”.

Chinese visitor numbers will continue to grow, she says, but Queenstown will not benefit until new hotels are built.

Otago Daily Times