Scarcity Of Accommodations In New Zealand Becoming A Recurring Issue

Kiwis have a tough reputation when it comes to playing rugby but they are softies at heart when not on the playing field. Greymouth rugby fan, Adam Gilshnan learned that many of the 20,000 British and Irish Lion fans who were travelling to New Zealand for the coming tour were experiencing a difficult time in finding accommodations.

To help them out, Gilshnan set up a Facebook page Adopt a Lion’s Fan 2017so that locals can extend their legendary Kiwi hospitality to the visitors. A lot of independent travelers will be going to New Zealand and there is nowhere to stay particularly in the big city. If there are available accommodations, it is priced beyond their budget.

Gilshnan was inspired by his experience to open the Facebook page. During the Lion’s 2005 tour of New Zealand, Gilshnan and his mates made friends with some fans from Wales and gave them a good time. The fans reciprocated when Gilshnan went to the UK for his OE. He was taken to premium football matches and rugby games.

Gilshnan didn’t have too many expectations for the Facebook page; but was surprised when more than 100 New Zealanders offered to host some of the fans in their homes, caravans and gardens. Offers poured in to pick up the fans from airports and train stations and take them to the games.

The scarcity of accommodations in New Zealand has always been a big issue when there are popular events. The boom in tourism is pushing infrastructure to breaking point. Last February, a group composed of 53 senior American tourists has to be accommodated in an Auckland marae for the night because all the hotels in the city were fully booked.  When Adele visited for her March concert, fans faced accommodation issues with hotel prices soaring. Government research identified shortages in hotel rooms to reach 4,500 by 2022.

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