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NZ guest nights drop in October as unloved Canterbury offsets Rugby World Cup inflows

Monday 12th December 2011

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New Zealand guest nights fell in October as a slump in visitors using paid accommodation in Canterbury offset an influx of overseas visitors in the country for the Rugby World Cup.

Total guest nights fell 1.5 percent in October, according to Statistics New Zealand. International guest nights rose 7.1 percent while domestic declined 6.5 percent, the figures show.

The earthquakes in Christchurch has hampered demand for short-term accommodation in the city, with the decline in Canterbury greater than the combined increases in Auckland, Wellington and Nelson/Marlborough/Tasman, the government statistician said.

The rebuild of Christchurch, which was delayed this year by aftershocks, may cost the country some $20 billion, according to government estimates.

The South Island led the decline in international guest nights in October, with an 11% drop compared to the North Island’s 4.7 percent gain. Canterbury saw a 29 percent decline, mainly reflecting fewer hotel guest nights, while in Southland the drop was 24 percent and in Otago it was a 5.1 percent slide.

Wellington led gains in the North Island, with international guest nights rising 40%, followed by a 33 percent increase in Auckland and a 19 percent gain for Waikato.

Total domestic guest nights fell 6.5 percent to 1.5 million, even after one week of the school holidays was shifted to October from September. Canterbury suffered the largest decline at 20 percent, reflecting the Feb. 22 earthquake, Statistics New Zealand said.

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