‘Mondayised’ holidays welcomed
Not all in the business community are dreading the prospect of Anzac and Waitangi day holidays moving to Monday.
Legislation to ‘‘Mondayise’’ the two holidays was due to have its second Parliamentary reading last Wednesday.
The Department of Labour had estimated that shifting the two holidays to Monday when they fell during weekends would impose a $200-million drag on New Zealand business. But Wellington Ibis Hotel general manager Nathan Frost said it could be a great thing for his business.
Anzac Day leisure travel bookings were always flat, and when the day fell mid-week it also disrupted weekday corporate travel around it, he said.
More long weekends would be welcome in his business.
‘‘And if it were a long weekend and had an AFL match as well it would be fantastic . . . It would be an opportunity for people to come from potentially Australia and have a long weekend in New Zealand.’’
Some Wellington hotels are already fully booked for Anzac Day this year as St Kilda Saints and Sydney Swans fans prepare to flood across the Tasman.
The two teams will play an Australian Football League match at Westpac Stadium on Anzac Day, Thursday, April 25.
The Grand Mercure Apartments and Ibis Wellington were fully booked last week and the Central City Apartments, Novotel, Mercure Wellington and the Willis Street Mercure were 87 per cent booked out.
Mr Frost said the hotel was also almost at capacity last week, with the England cricket team’s Barmy Army supporters adding to a normally busy period for corporate travel. Anzac Day is normally a flat period for Wellington hotels but the Ibis had been forced to implement a minimum two-day stay this year because of demand from the Swans and Saints supporters.
Mr Frost said he had heard that each club was expecting 2000 supporters to attend.
‘‘Four or five thousand room nights in the city would have a huge effect,’’ he said.