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Accommodation providers experience best month ever in January

Friday 12th March 2010

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More Kiwis holidaying at home and more tourists staying longer has boosted January’s short-term commercial accommodation total guest nights by 4% compared to the previous January.

And while January is traditionally the month recording the highest guest nights, the first month of this year was the best since the Statistics New Zealand survey began in 1996, and they also reflect feedback from Tourism Industry Association members, said its chief executive Tim Cossar.

“The peak summer period was better than expected for many tourism operators,” he said. “In particular, Australian visitor arrivals were up a massive 16% for January, showing that the strong efforts the industry and government are putting into marketing to Australian travellers are paying off.”

Cossar said that with late booking patterns now the norm, many operators face uncertainty about demand over the next few months.

International visitors contributed 1.7 million guest nights in Jan. 2010, an increase of 126,000 or 8% on Jan. 2009. These visitors provided 32% of total guest nights in the North Island and 48% in the South, the remainder being New Zealanders. There were 47,000 more international guests in the North Island and 79,000 more in the South.

This January there were 2.7 million domestic guest nights, up 61,000 or 2% from January 2009. Kiwis staying at home contributed 61% of total guest nights, made up of 68% of North Island and 52% of South Island guest nights.

The accommodation figures match those of short-term overseas visitor arrivals to New Zealand. January 2010 visitors were a record 256,700, up 5% on the previous January. December 2009 saw an increase of 19,100 or 6% on December 2008.

All four accommodation types surveyed showed more guest nights. This January compared to January 2009 showed hotels up 8% or 80,000, holiday parks up 3% with 51,000 extra, motels increasing bed nights by 3% or 30,000 and backpackers lifting 5% or 26,000.

As is usual for the first month of the year, holiday parks had the largest share of total guest nights with 36% of the total.

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