A new, low cost hotel capable of accommodating hundreds of visitors a night has opened in one of the country’s fastest growing tourist centres.
The five story, 276 bed, pod hotel in Queenstown’s is expected to provide welcome relief from the growing shortage of accommodation in the region.
Jucy CEO Tim Alpe says the latest government figures show the town’s rapid tourism growth is accelerating.
“At its current rate of growth, Queenstown will receive three quarters of a million tourists, in just over a year’s time – more than a fifth of the total number of visitors to New Zealand annually.
“In February this year, hotel occupancy rates in the area were at 94 percent and supply shortages have led to price increases. The last thing we want to see is this impacting on the country’s reputation among international tourists.
“The expansion of Jucy Snooze into Queenstown is designed to meet the needs of the millennial traveller – who are particularly vocal on social media, and our new offering is expected to help provide support for the tourism brand,” he says.
The ‘micro accommodation’ concept was first launched by tourism operator Jucy to help relieve the chronic room shortage in Christchurch. The room with pods accommodate eight travellers in a ‘bunk room’ style configuration where guests can create a private, individual sleeping spaces by closing a blind.
Alpe says the new accommodation will be a mixture of pods and some private rooms with ensuites.
“We believe the pod hotel concept will offer a low cost alternative for the budget tourist, whether it’s a backpacker or a couple. Most of the pod units will be priced from $45 with private rooms starting at $130 during the high season – the rates will be reduced for off peak travellers.” he says.
Alpe says the pod hotels may also help meet demand from short term workers as well.
“There is some indication that rental accommodation prices are also on the rise as local landlords move to a more lucrative short stay rental model.
“The new hotel is centrally located which cuts down on transport costs and may make it more economical for workers wanting a short term solution whilst looking for a room,” he says.
Alpe says the hotel will include a new rooftop pizzeria and bar called Miss Lucy’s with expansive views overlooking Lake Wakatipu – which will also be open to the public.
This hotel will be the second opened in the JUCY Snooze chain within two years following Christchurch, adding to the already established Auckland property.
Alpe says in addition to the compact style of the accommodation, the pods will also feature unique technology which allows travellers to control their own stay.
Visitors will be able to self check using an a terminal in the lobby or a smartphone app which can also be used to unlock their room. Each pod is equipped with USB chargers, climate control fans, lights, access to free WiFi and a storage locker.
Alpe says the hotel will provide employment for around 30 local staff and the company has plans underway to expand the concept out in other locations across New Zealand and Australia.