HARD to argue with claims that the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand next September/October is looming as an exercise in price gouging. The focus so far has been on hotel rates during the tournament, headlined by the Hilton Auckland charging NZ$1700 a night with a 10 night minimum during the finals period. Warren Livingstone, Managing Director of We Love Rugby told scoop.co.nz that such pricing is not isolated: “We have a list of hotels that have all increased rates by 400% and in some cases by up to 100% from their normal rates.” But what about official wholesale packages?
In the same week Jetstar announced one way fares of just $129 between Sydney and Auckland (travel between 20 April and 22 June), I saw a “deal” from Adventure World costing an enormous A$2068 for return Sydney-Auckland travel and a ticket to the England v Scotland pool match. No accommodation. It is just me or is that outrageous? No wonder Gullivers Travel UK plans to book clients into Sydney hotels before flying them to Auckland for the big games. This will develop into a major story and makes tournament organisers, and the NZ tourism industry, look greedy and out of touch with their client base. Only because it appears they are.