RWC 2011 Hotel Pricing: Australia v New Zealand

RWC2011 Hotel PricingIt looks like the trans tasman rivalry has already kicked off with a flurry of media activity on Friday about the hotel prices for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

It was started by comments from Australian Sports Tours general manager Sam Harrison who said “Some of the prices are just ridiculous”,  a hotel in Hamilton planned to charge $700 a night – up from its normal $60 to $100, was one example quoted.  While in New Zealand response has been that the Aussie remarks are inflammatory as a ploy to try and drive prices down, particularly when exorbitant pricing was prevalent during the Sydney Olympics and the Rugby World Cup.  Here are a few of the media articles related to the debate:

Dominion Post: Aussies Take Flight over World Cup Hotel Rates

TV3: Rugby World Cup hotel prices enrage Aussie fans (article and video interview)

Sydney Morning Herald: NZ accuse Aussies of price “beat up”

Surely setting the prices is basic economics – if there is high demand then of course the prices will go up, that’s one of the benefits of hosting such an event, however in New Zealand Bruce Robertson of the Hospitality Association is expecting there to be options available to cater for all budgets. 

“The reality is there will be plenty of rooms available, and there will be packages that will meet most budgets, depending on how far they are willing to travel for a given event.” Time will tell as the official allocations are completed and rooms available for Joe supporter are released for sale.

It would be good to hear direct from some accommodation providers in New Zealand as to their pricing strategy during the world cup period, without giving away too much to competition, is it realistic to expect that there will be options available for a variety of budgets? Is it likely many supporters will need to be accommodated in different cities or towns (or in Australia as suggested by the Aussies!) and just travel to the event on the day?

What advice should be given to accommodation providers for price setting during this period? How this is all managed will indeed be interesting and let’s hope New Zealand tourism providers will be the winners on the day.

13 thoughts on “RWC 2011 Hotel Pricing: Australia v New Zealand

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by michelle_ackers: RT @nztourismblog: New blog post: RWC2011 Hotel Pricing: Australia v New Zealand #rugby #RWC2011…

  2. Kia Ora,
    Soon, a South Pacific country will be hosting a major world sports game.
    …If all this sounds rather vague, I’m sorry!
    But I am NOT allowed to mention even a snip of information, because the rights to do so are that heavily protected!

    …I’d like to be more specific and be able to tell you what this is …tell you the name of the sport and game, …tell you the year connected to [this sporting event], …and tell you where the games are going to be played. I’d like to be able to direct you to the ‘Official’ website of [this sporting event], (but again, sorry, that too is also a definite no-no!!)

    I CAN offer you information about surrounding regions, (where to stay & what to do, since [this sporting event] will be attracting many overseas visitors who are already wanting information about the host country), but I can NOT tell you about my product in relation to [this sporting event], not even if I place a disclaimer in my reference which says; “I am not officially connected to [this sporting event]”!!

    In fact, no institution, or business, unless “authorised” …(but here, one cannot ‘gain’ authorisation!), have the rights to be making any connection to [this event], AT ALL.

    Each and every citizen needs to be aware of this Rights Protection Law surrounding [this major sporting event].

    This Law even goes as far as prohibiting a school from holding a colouring-in competition that refers to [this sporting event], or the players, or the teams involved.

    It is understandable to have strict laws to protect Official Sponsors of [this event] from ‘unauthorised competition’ since these Sponsors have poured mega-bucks into advertising etc., however, many other businesses are already advertising [this event] on a large scale. Some have been doing so since September last year, displaying countdown-clocks, advertising ‘packages’, forming ‘Associations’, and ‘Stables of Activities’ connected to [this sporting event]. Is this Law being upheld?, Is this Law being adequately policed by the ‘official’ Rights Protection Organisation handling the law to [this sporting event]?
    Given that this Rights Protection Law states; “$150,000 fine and 5 years jail if found in-breach of ANY unauthorised referencing”, how does this now make you feel?

    As citizens and small businesses of the host country, who wish to get behind [this sporting event], and promote it in a positive way, is the extreme measure of this Protection Law entirely fair?

    And, more to the point, did YOU KNOW about this Law?

    1. Legislation along the lines of the Major Events Management Act 2007 is required by the organisers of major events (e.g. the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup) to protect the rights of official sponsors who pay to be exclusively associated with tournaments such as the Rugby World Cup 2011. The protection of the rights granted to the entities involved in the official commercial programme is required to ensure the ongoing success and viability of Rugby World Cup 2011 and the sport of Rugby Union as a whole, since all profit earned by Rugby World Cup Limited from the tournament is reinvested in the development of the game on a global basis.

      The Act aims to prevent entities from free riding on Rugby World Cup 2011 without having paid the right to associate with the event. This does not mean that no reference can be made to the tournament. There are number of exemptions, such as for the purposes of reporting news and information about Rugby World Cup 2011 (set out in full at the list provided below).

      We are working with the Ministry of Economic Development on a practical guide to the application of the Major Events Management Act which we hope will clear up any misconceptions such as those in Donna’s original post. This will be on the MED website and on in the next few weeks.

  3. I have heard some black board promotions advertising certain events in front of pubs have been told to take away their signs…how dumb is that!

    1. Certainly seems to put limitations on who benefits from the event. I doubt that it can be policed effectively though.

  4. The law you are speaking about is called MEMA or Major Events Management Act which was passed by government some time ago specifically for RWC. I dont put myself forward as an expert however understand it was a requirement of IRB who need to protect the rights of sponsors etc. I do believe that Trade & Enterprise (or some other agency) will shortly be bringing out a “dummies guide to MEMA and RWC”.

    Bye the way you can speak about Rugby World Cup in a blog but you cannot market your business as providing some kind of service for RWC unless you are accredited in some way.

    IMG are the organisation policing this and who can probably best speak on it.

    1. Robyn has also kindly supplied a relevant link for further details on the Rights Protection and the Major Events Management Act

  5. Writing fFom my iPhone so short & not so sweet. We have been aware of these draconian laws for a while now. Came to our attention because we had a photo of McCaw on our newly bought domain –

    Some whippersnapper lawyer wrote asking (threatening) us to remove a photo of an All Black on the site, even though there was no mention of the RWC on there, just a coming soon message…

    They should have bought the domain before they announced the name of the company running the RWC!

    My opinion is that they are being too heavy handed. The Bus & Coach Group/Society bought out some guidlines about 6 months ago – I’ll try and find the link.

  6. Woops just read my post – as well as all the typos I also typed in the wrong web address. Shows how many times I go there! Should be McCaw stands firm! Lol.

  7. We were notified about the Major Events Management Act in the last RVA newsletter. At first we were very alarmed as from what it looks like you can not even mention the name of the event in any form, and there was no mention of how one can obtain permission to advertise using the name, logo etc.

    In order to try and get some form of clarification about it we called the RVA. And to be honest, they themselves don’t know exactly how to interpret this law and trying to get some answers from the IRB is a very slow process (if not an impossible one). So to the best of our understanding, what stands behind this law is to prevent businesses from advertising what they are not – for example saying you are the supplier of rooms for the RWC, when in fact you are not. Personally I don’t know anyone who will be foolish enough to make statements they can’t stand behind but I give the IRB the benefit of the doubt they have their reasoning (taking into account I might be naive).

    Though the issue of the Major Events Management Act is highly important, I think we are neglecting an important point in the original post, a point which Tourism providers need to think and talk about. This major event is a wonderful opportunity for the Tourism industry and New Zealand to gain much more than just profits. The average person knows the rules of the game – when demand is high prices go up. If you are in this industry you have this fluctuation every year moving from peak to off peak season. The RWC should not be any different but is also no reason to be greedy.

  8. Looks like the pricing issue is hotting up again, latest NZ Herald Article: Sky-high Cup hotel prices. It seems it’s all the Aussie travel industry driving the media comments again though.

  9. Hey Having had a look at some of the prices being charged I
    have to say that it is simply profiteering. To hide behind ‘market
    economics’ or ‘supply and demand’ is cowardly of New Zealand. All
    that will happen here is that people who have tickets will still
    come, but they will go home with some pretty low opinions of the NZ
    tourism industry. Personally, I’ve already sorted out my
    accomodation, at a fairly large uplift from normal prices, so am
    committed. Probably will never go back to NZ though!!

  10. It is even more costly this time after the quake that happened every business establishment is recuperating from all expenses for repairs and losses. But nothing can stop rugby fanatics to be in New Zealand.

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