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NZ guest nights rise in November as Australian visitors fill accommodation

Tuesday 23rd January 2018

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New Zealand guest nights rose 4.3 percent in November from a year earlier as the number of international visitors, buoyed by more people from across the Tasman, helped lift the occupancy rate of the nation's accommodation. 

Total guest nights increased to 3.41 million in November from 3.27 million a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said. Of that, international guest nights rose 5.6 percent to 1.67 million, outpacing a 3.1 percent gain in domestic accommodation stays to 1.73 million. The increase helped lift the occupancy rate across accommodation types to 48.6 percent in November, the highest since March, and up from 47 percent a year earlier. 

"An increase in visitor arrivals from Australia may have contributed to the growth in international guest nights," accommodation statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said in a statement. "This November was a warmer, drier month than the previous November which may have helped guest night increases, particularly for holiday parks." 

Government figures showed international visitor arrivals rose 8 percent to 360,136 in November from the same month a year earlier, of which Australia's accounted for about a third. New Zealand has been enjoying a booming tourism sector in recent years as low airfares made it easier for visitors to travel to the remote South Pacific destination, although that may be coming to an end with global oil prices on the rise. 

Today's figures show hotel guest nights, typically favoured by foreign visitors, rose 4.2 percent to 1.24 million in November from a year earlier, with international stays up 5.8 percent to 631,000. Hotel occupancy was 77.2 percent in the month, compared to 75.8 percent a year earlier. 

Motel stays increased 1.3 percent to 1.08 million, with a 6.6 percent gain from international visitors to 403,000 offsetting a 1 percent decline in domestic guest nights to 677,000. Motel occupancy was 68.2 percent versus 66.9 percent in November 2016. 

Backpacker guest nights climbed 7.3 percent to 495,000 with an occupancy rate at 50 percent compared to 47.7 percent in 2016, while holiday park stays gained 6.9 percent to 588,000 at an occupancy rate of 48.6 percent, up from 47 percent. 

The increase in accommodation was reasonably well spread with North Island stays up 4.3 percent to 1.99 million and South Island guest nights gaining 4.4 percent to 1.42 million. All 12 regions reported an increase in guest nights. 

(BusinessDesk)

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