Addressing the competition for Christchurch accommodation

In a very competitive accommodation market, Airport Gateway had been impacted not only by the Christchurch earthquakes, but also the growth of digital competitors like online booking sites and of course, the rapid expansion of AirBnB.

The 75 room Airport Gateway Motel is a well established and highly regarded accommodation provider with a unique location just 5 minutes drive from Christchurch International Airport.

Airport Gateway operators John and Kelly Lankshear had been running the motel and restaurant complex for a number of years before approaching hairyLemon to refresh their website design, brand and online marketing approach.

the objective

Clarifying the message

The motel complex is made up of two main accommodation blocks, making up a total of 75 rooms, one block built in the last 10 years with modern styling and fixtures, and the older original block which is owned by a number of individual shareholders.

That meant the online presence for the business had a combination of images and customer feedback across the older and newer parts of the property.

The challenge for Airport Gateway was to effectively market the higher end rooms as well as the economy rooms, while keeping all of the stakeholders and guests happy and developing a consistent brand identity.

Refreshing the brand

hairyLemon started the process by running a workshop for the Airport Gateway team, resulting in a digital strategy that outlined a number of steps to be taken to move the business forward and streamline how the two offerings were marketed.

A rebrand was one of the first steps to be put in place, along with a rebuild of the website and the establishment of new social media channels.

The new brand was rolled out offline on the motel’s shuttle van, used to collect guests from Christchurch Airport, on signage around the complex and on printed collateral used in the restaurant/bar and in the rooms.

Our digital strategist developed an ongoing marketing strategy for the business and manages the creation of fresh content for the site and social media posting, as well as online advertising campaigns.


With the final steps of the property refresh about to be completed, the complex now has a new brand, consistency in the way the various accommodation options are marketed and refurbished interiors in the older units – ready for the next phase of marketing activity.

Since hairyLemon took over the digital marketing of the complex, traffic and conversions through the website have consistently risen and the number of direct bookings on the website have increased.