Coronavirus lockdown the nail in the coffin for iconic Canterbury hotel

A struggling Canterbury hotel will not reopen when the COVID-19 lockdown lifts after Airbnb decimated the market.

Hanmer Springs Heritage Hotel will close its doors for good due to the economic pressure of the lockdown and the rise in popularity of other accommodation nearby.

The hotel was already being undercut by holiday homes in the area and the COVID-19 lockdown just sealed the deal according to the director of Hanmer Management Ltd.

"It's simply not profitable in any way, shape or form," Graham Wilkinson told Stuff.

Reopening the hotel after lockdown would have also cost a minimum of $300,000 and that money could not be regained, he said.

Forty full time jobs will be lost in the closure but Wilkinson said it's possible there could be jobs at other Heritage hotels and some staff could be employed to maintain the grounds of the historical building. 

The closure of the hotel could be the tip of the iceberg according to the Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA)

The COVID-19 lockdown is predicted to have a devastating effect on tourism in New Zealand and TIA has pleaded for mercy from the government. 

Its chief executive Chris Robert says if domestic tourism is not reopened soon, thousands of jobs could be lost and hundreds of businesses could close.

"Keeping the tourism industry closed for weeks, if not months, longer until we reach level 1 will put thousands of jobs and hundreds of businesses at risk," says Roberts.

"Many tourism businesses will simply not be viable if stringent travel restrictions continue at Level 2."