Foreign Interest in Youth Hotel Association Accommodation

There is overseas interest in the nine Youth Hostel Association hostels that are being sold after they close.

Photo: Youth Hostel Association / yha.co.nz

Hostels were closed late last year due to Auckland’s prolonged lockdown and international border closures.

Property company Colliers said it had received inquiries from potential international buyers, as well as New Zealand operators.

Its chief investment officer, Hamish Doig, who is leading the sale, said overseas buyers saw it as a “great opportunity” to enter the New Zealand tourism market.

“Now that we have more clarity on when the restrictions will end, the consensus is that there will be a big rebound in the number of international travelers wanting to come to New Zealand because it is such a popular destination.

“YHA properties are attracting such interest because of their fabulous geographical spread. Even though our borders are currently closed, the interest we have had is a clear indication that New Zealand is still highly regarded internationally as a tourist destination,” Doig said.

Hostels are in Aoraki/Mt Cook, Auckland, Franz Josef, Rotorua, Te Anau, Tekapo, Queenstown, Rotorua, Wānaka and Wellington.

YHA National President Ian Lothian said his board had no choice but to close its doors last year.

“YHA New Zealand, which traditionally serves young international visitors, has doubled its domestic overnight stays over the past 12 months by shifting its focus to more domestic groups and family stays.

“However, Auckland’s prolonged lockdown, combined with no prospect of an international visitor market this summer, created market conditions that were not sustainable for us.”

Colliers national hotel and tourism manager Dean Humphries said inbound tourism to New Zealand is expected to return to pre-Covid levels by around 2024.

“We believe this ‘journey of revenge’ will be led, in part, by the younger generation who will be more comfortable traveling faster.

“Unfortunately, due to Covid, there has been considerable inventory attrition in the budget accommodation sector, particularly in tourism hotspots, and we believe there will be an acute shortage once the demand will accelerate,” Humphries said.

Colliers said buyers could buy the properties individually or in one package.

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