Exclusive lodge now in reach of more Kiwis as tourism industry slashes prices

Some tourist operators are experiencing strong demand for business, after slashing prices for the Kiwi market.

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The support may help them survive the worst of the Covid-19 slowdown. Source: 1 NEWS

While they are still not turning a profit, the support of locals may just help them enough to survive the worst of Covid-19.

Climbing up the side of steep cliffs is not for the faint of heart and now Wanaka's Wild Wire, has made an equally daring business decision.

They're running a koha system, allowing visitors to pay only what they can afford to.

Wild Wire managing director Mark Morrison says the response so far has been spectacular all things considering. 

“We are busy as we would be at Christmas, at the moment. So, by far… we're not making a profit, but that wasn't the idea.” 

Other places around the country have begun to follow suit, adjusting their prices and their options to cater to a Kiwi market. 

The hallowed halls of Otahuna Lodge, near Christchurch are normally reserved for the super-rich but the fall out of Covid-19 has meant they have had to drastically drop prices. 

Otahuna Lodge.

“Around 50 to 60 per cent off our standard high season tariffs, so it's a pretty tremendous discount for folks to come stay,” says lodge owner Hall Cannon. 

For many New Zealanders this will be the first time that a super lodge, like Otahuna is within their price range. 

That’s exactly what the owners are hoping that will bring a whole new wave of domestic tourism to tide them through the coming recession.

Experts are also saying that discounting right now is savvy business practice to help struggling businesses drive in new customers.  

“It helps encourage trial of a product or a service, and once you try something and have a good experience. You will either recommend it to your friends, or you will go back and buy the same thing again,” says marketing expert Mike Lee. 

At Wild Wire more than 500 people are signed up already keeping 10 guides in work, but it's only a fraction of the usual $300 charge

“We can either sit around, and lay on our backs, and let the pity wash over us, or we can stand up and take this thing on,” says Mr Morrison.   

Taking steps now has left these businesses hopeful they can keep taking them in the future.