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Waikato Business News March/April 2018

Waikato Business News has for a quarter of a century been the voice of the region’s business community, a business community with a very real commitment to innovation and an ethos of co-operation.

Waikato Business News March/April

MARCH/APRIL 2018 VOLUME 26: ISSUE 3 WWW.WBN.CO.NZ FACEBOOK.COM/WAIKATOBUSINESSNEWS Give us two new top hotels Tourism and business leaders’ urgent plea for Hamilton. By GEOFF TAYLOR Hamilton doesn’t just need one 4 or 4.5-star hotel desperately - it needs two. That’s the plea from tourism and business leaders who say the city which is desperate to keep Claudelands Event Centre busy, is missing out on large scale conferences because it just doesn’t have enough beds. And Dallas Fisher, the man behind the recent highly successful New Zealand Sevens at Waikato Stadium is calling on the Hamilton City Council to put skin in the game and fasttrack hotel development as it did with the creation of the Tainui Novotel in the 1990s. Hamilton Mayor Andrew King is resisting the call, saying it’s not for ratepayers to “tilt the floor” and benefit commercial operators. Hamilton & Waikato Tourism chief executive Jason Dawson says Waikato is in a very exciting position right now because the region is in a growth phase. “However, one of the biggest challenges in our region is the shortage of large-scale commercial accommodation. We need to increase the number of properties across our region to meet current demand from conference organisers, travel trade and our growing ‘free and independent’ traveller market. “Right now, Hamilton requires at least two hotels of a 4 – 4.5-star rating or higher.” The city’s only 4-star hotel at present is the Tainui Novotel whose owners are spending $13 million on adding an extra 40 rooms later this year. Jason says every conference Hamilton and Waikato secures is significant for the region, regardless of the sector or size. “Conference delegates are also influenced to return for a future holiday based on their positive Waikato experiences.” “A delegate attending a business event is worth twice as much as a leisure traveller to the region, with an average delegate per night value of $350 for international delegates and $509 for domestic delegates. “However currently in Hamilton, our current conference threshold is up to 500 people before the city struggles to meet quality commercial accommodation requirements. “We are missing out on lucrative multi-day association conferences, even though we have the best conference and exhibition centre in New Zealand at Claudelands which is capable of holding large multi-day conferences for more than 1500 people and the Claudelands Arena can seat 6000 delegates for a plenary session.” And his plea has been Continued on page 3 Hamilton & Waikato Tourism chief executive Jason Dawson says the city is missing out on conferences because of a lack of beds. PHOTO: Chris Hillock Photographer. Double success Ebbett Audi and Ebbett Volkswagen best in NZ P13 tough at the top Waikato CEOs share their secrets P14 NZ dealers of the year Thank you, Waikato.

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