New Zealand is running out of hotel rooms for travelers due to the rapid growth of tourists. Last year, the country welcomed 3.5 million foreign visitors--about 480,000 higher than what the nation predicted--and many businesses have actually considered offering alternative forms of lodging.
Tourism visits are expected to reach 4.5 million by 2022 which almost matches the country's current population of 4.7 million, reports Bloomberg. The government is considering to build 5,200 more rooms around the country, yet, studies showed that New Zealand will be short of 4,500 rooms five years from now.
The country's statistics show that there are about 3,089 lodges in the country that can provide 138,593 places for travelers to sleep in the night. While many tourists were accommodated in traditional Maori meeting houses due to hotel rooms being full all the time, other people have also resorted to Airbnb listings.
"If we don't fix these things and look to the long term, we'll be putting a cap on our own growth," Quinton Hall, chief executive officer of Ngai Tahu Tourism, told Bloomberg. "We've got a natural cap on our peak period right now because we just don't have the accommodation in New Zealand. Even if they wanted to come, they couldn't find anywhere to sleep."
Tourism officials have stated that the increase rate of visitors can also mean to the destruction of the environment as well as infrastructures and amenities like toilet overuse. Hotel occupancy often reaches 86 percent usage in a year.
One of the most prominent attractions in New Zealand travelers would always go to is the Hobbiton Movie Set which was popularized by "The Lord of the Rings" Trilogy and "The Hobbit" films. Other sites include the Tongariro National Park, Hamilton Gardens, and Huka Falls.