Airbnb Advice,

27th January 2020

Setting sail: How the 36th America’s Cup will affect accommodation in Auckland

Photo taken from Boat International

It’s 2020, and we all know what that means, it’s only a year until Auckland truly lives up to its name as the city of sails. Emirate’s bright red sails will once again head out on the water to defend their world title in the 36th America’s Cup. So the question on every Airbnb property manager’s lips (or those who are thinking of becoming a property manager) is, how will this massive event affect Auckland’s accommodation?

To begin, we must first explore the supply of rooms available in central Auckland compared to the demand that will result from tourists.

What accommodation is necessary?

So far there are only rough estimates around the number of travellers who will need accommodation during this exciting event. But so far, over 130 superyachts are expected to be arriving before the event commences. This is an increase on the 100 superyachts that landed in Auckland harbour for the 2000 America’s Cup. 

However, to manage the influx of overseas visitors, Auckland city has been busy preparing a magnitude of new hotels that are expected to open before the event begins. Some notable mentions include the 300-room Sky City Horizon Hotel and the 195-room waterfront Park Hyatt. Altogether, Auckland city is expected to see an additional 13 hotels opening their doors before the America’s Cup start date, and this would result in 1,522 additional rooms (AKA a 16% increase in room supply.) Half of these new rooms will also be available within 5-star hotels. To learn more about this read here.

Regardless of the assurance there will be enough hotel accomodation to fill demand from the organiser of APEC, demand for rooms will still be high and Airbnbs offer an experience that hotels don’t. So now is the perfect time to prepare your Airbnb for a busy period in 2021. This is especially important for Airbnb property managers that are just starting out because it can take a while to build up a collection of good reviews. To begin with, you will need a great listing to get more bookings, and these bookings will lead to more fantastic reviews, which in turn will bring more bookings during the America’s cup.

So now you know the facts, how can you make your Airbnb stand out against the swarm of hotels, motels, and other Airbnb competition?

Airbnb vs Hotels

This year is the perfect time to get everything ready to attract guests to your unique Airbnb dwelling, as opposed to a large hotel chain. In order to increase your chances of bookings, we need to first look at the facts.

-Less-frequent travellers are more likely to book a stay in hotels because they perceive it as a luxury travel experience.

-Travellers may choose hotels over Airbnbs for consistency, reliability, safety, and increased privacy.

-Incentives for people staying in hotels include location, discount bookings, room upgrades, free food and drinks, spas/pools, and loyalty points.

-Travellers who want to stay in Airbnbs do so because they want to dive into New Zealand culture and have a more personal experience.

-People staying for a long time may prefer Airbnbs due to the price difference and added amenities/cooking equipment.

How to attract guests

Keeping in mind these facts, things that will attract overseas guests to your Airbnb, rather than hotels include:


Because the races are held in the viaduct, central accommodation would be preferable to overseas guests. If you are not located in a central position, make sure that visitors know about the easy transport to and from the Auckland CBD.

Safety and privacy

Make sure your Airbnb is as safe and private as possible. Also, list these added benefits in your listing.

Price difference

With hotels in the Auckland CBD costing between $83-$619 a night (excluding the expensive hotels that are currently being built), and price spikes expected to occur when America Cup’s bookings begin, Airbnb is a much more affordable option. Even though Airbnb nightly prices will be 3-4 times higher than normal during this event (leading to more money for Auckland Airbnb property owners) they will still be cheaper than hotel rooms, after the price spikes. In order to appeal to a majority of visitors, a good idea is to research the hotels/other accommodation in your area around the time of the event and undercut the price they charge for a room.

Unique feel

Something that Airbnb properties boast that hotels don’t have is a more cultural feel and unique character. To show this to potential guests it is important to have around 20 amazing photos on your profile that highlight the location, character, amenities, and charm of your property. As well as these photos, you must also remember to add a great description of your property. Click here for more information about how to take great photos and how to write a great description.

Added amenities

Sure, Auckland has many amazing eateries, but eating out every day can leave guests feeling horrible. Another benefit of Airbnbs is that you can cook your own meals, do your own laundry, and have other amazing benefits such as access to games, books, and Netflix. Therefore, to make sure you have the best chance of booking guests, make sure you include all these amazing benefits on your listing.

Auckland in 2021: the place to watch

The accommodation boom doesn’t just stop when the America’s Cup ends! With many other high profile events and tourism increasing steadily each year, 2021 is set to be a busy year for Airbnb property owners. So what can you expect?

January 1st- March 20th

America’s Cup

As stated above, the America’s Cup is sure to bring an influx of guests to Auckland City, and these guests will be looking to book either hotel rooms, private residences, motels, or Airbnbs.

6th February

ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup

A collection of cities are due to host the Women’s Cricket World cup, including Auckland, who is hosting the opening weekend. The first allocated venue is Eden Park, so Airbnb’s that are located in Mount Eden, and central Auckland, will be well-sought after by overseas visitors.

22 February-1st March

The Men’s Softball World Cup

The world’s number one softball team (AKA The Black Sox) are defending their world title in 2021, and this should lead to many overseas visitors flocking to see them play. Because the Black Sox are playing in the Rosedale Stadium in Albany, this could mean more business for people located on the North Shore, and close to the stadium.

23rd-27th February

Te Matatini national kapa-haka festival

Whanau-friendly and culturally significant, the Te Matatini Festival is held every two years and draws many local and international kapa-haka fans. This event is being held in Eden Park, so Airbnb’s located in Mount Eden, and central Auckland, will be very appealing to these visitors.

28 July – 14 August

Rugby World Cup (women’s)

As well as being number one in the world for softball, New Zealand is also number one in the world for women’s rugby, and this means that we are hosting in 2021. This event drew a record 45, 412 spectators in Ireland in 2017, which is easily beatable if Auckland can sell out the final at Eden Park.

18-14th November

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Week conference

Leaders from 21 countries and economies will meet in Auckland for the regional economic forum, designed to optimise the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific. This event is expected to attract 10, 000 people, including world leaders, trade and foreign ministers, and the media. The venues for this event are yet to be confirmed, but it would be fair to assume the location will be central.


In conclusion, 2021 is going to be a big year for Airbnb property owners due to an influx of overseas visitors attending the America’s Cup, and a score of other large events. This means that 2020 is the perfect year to get your property and listing in its best shape for the following year. Or, if you are not an Airbnb property owner, consider becoming one. If you are not yet an Airbnb property manager then Zodiak Management Ltd is a service that allows you to rent out your Airbnb easily and professionally to maximise your returns. To hear more about our services and how we can help you build a stress-free income stream, check out our services page.

Also, check out this article for more information on what the America’s Cup means for Auckland Airbnb property managers.

Written by Lauren Middleton