The Hospitality Industry is faced with a variety of issues which affect us in one way, shape or form. To familiarise yourself with some of these issues please click on the titles below for Hospitality New Zealand submissions, media releases and correspondence relating to that issue.
Australian Hotels Association Magazine Column - Christchurch open for business
Friday, 1 April 2011
by Bruce Robertson, Chief Executive, Hospitality Association of New Zealand
Despite central Christchurch being devastated by the tragic earthquake on 22 February, Christchurch airport and the surrounds are open for business. With virtually no damage to this sector Christchurch continues to operate as a gateway to the South Island. Accommodation continues to be very tight close to Christchurch, but there continues to be good availability within a two hour drive.
One of the major challenges facing Christchurch and the South Island is the perception that the damage caused by the quake is widespread. In fact it is confined to a relatively small area, albeit an important one, being the central business district of Christchurch. The re-building and re-opening of the central business district is going to take some time, meanwhile hospitality businesses in suburban Christchurch are trading very well.
While Christchurch is no longer hosting Rugby World Cup matches, the rest of the South Island are looking forward to hosting many international visitors and showing them some great New Zealand hospitality, along with of course the great range of tourism activities available throughout the South Island. Planning is now well advanced with lots of festival activities to ensure our visitors remember a lot more than just the rugby. For example there will be an additional Bluff oyster season and a special West Coast Wild Foods Festival.
The hospitality industry is also working very hard to ensure that every day is party day throughout the period of the Rugby World Cup. From a rugby perspective the stadia upgrades are all either completed or on track so it's now time to bring it on and the hospitality industry in New Zealand can't wait.
Through quakes and world cup planning New Zealand is also debating major reform of its liquor legislation. The Alcohol Law Reform Bill is currently being considered by a Select Committee of Parliament and they are expected to report their conclusions to the house of Parliament in May. It is anticipated that this report will include a new liquor licensing regime with local communities having a lot more say on where licensed premises can be located, how many of them there will be and the times they can operate. They'll also have the powers to impose additional conditions on matters such as training, security required, food required and so on.
Regrettably none of these changes are likely to address the perceived problem of some minors drinking, and drinking to excess, and other New Zealanders drinking to get drunk. Disappointingly the proposed reforms do little to enhance individual responsibility and are therefore likely to have little impact on reducing alcohol harm but will simply increase the compliance costs faced by licensees. The government are intending to pass new legislation this year, but any changes will only come in to effect in 2012. Meantime New Zealand has a festival of rugby to enjoy and is looking forward to hosting many of our Australian colleagues.
12 April 2011