Plenty of rooms for Rugby World Cup final

By Corey Charlton, Talia Shadwell

The Auckland motel industry had 23.1 per cent of rooms still vacant in the week of the semifinals and 25.4 per cent in the week leading up to the finals. Photo / Thinkstock
The Auckland motel industry had 23.1 per cent of rooms still vacant in the week of the semifinals and 25.4 per cent in the week leading up to the finals. Photo / Thinkstock

Rugby fans seeking accommodation in Auckland for World Cup finals weekend are in luck - a large number of hotel and motel rooms are still available, some as cheap as $120 per night for two people.

A Herald survey found 33 of 84 accommodation providers contacted in Auckland yesterday were not full.

Prices varied, but there were still rooms available across the board - from backpackers to upmarket hotels.

Sai Motels Greenlane, which the Herald's June survey found to have increased its room rates by 1577 per cent to $1090 for the weekend of the finals, was now offering rooms for $299 and had not sold out.

In the June survey all but six of 91 businesses planned to inflate their rates.

But other businesses have dropped their prices with just under a month remaining until the October 23 final.

The Airport Bed & Breakfast offered the cheapest room still available at $120 for a room for two.

Motel Association chief Michael Baines was pleased at the Auckland hospitality industry's ability to accommodate the influx of visitors.

"It's a fantastic thing and we love the whole concept of the Rugby World Cup."

Mr Baines said the flow of tourists coming into New Zealand wasn't as overwhelming as had been hyped.

He said the Auckland motel industry had 23.1 per cent of rooms still vacant in the week of the semifinals and 25.4 per cent in the week leading up to the finals.

"As an economic tourist event it's a pittance really."

Hospitality Association chief Bruce Robertson said the Auckland City accommodation industry was coping well with demand from Rugby World Cup visitors.

Although he anticipated room turnover in upcoming weeks would be "tight", Mr Robertson was certain the city's accommodation providers could handle a similar world class event.

"Absolutely we can. In fact if you look at the sold signs, they're only up for a few days of the Rugby World Cup."

Visitors to London during the 2012 Olympic Games would not be able to get a room within reasonable commuting distance if they had not made bookings far in advance, he said.

Peace and Plenty Inn owner Judy Machin had sold out all seven of her Devonport bed and breakfast's rooms by May last year and had resisted the temptation to put prices up during the Rugby World Cup.

Mrs Machin said the industry-accepted norm in September was to drop room rates to suit low demand and she had enjoyed "good business" because of her decision to price competitively.

Staff at booked-out businesses said tourists had booked 12-18 months ahead of the Rugby World Cup's kickoff and any available rooms were often a result of cancellations.

- NZ Herald

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