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Hotels provide bright spot in weaker accommodation sector

Wednesday 10th November 2010

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New Zealand hotels were the bright spot in last month’s accommodation survey, reporting a rise in guests when lower-cost alternatives saw a decline.  

Hotel guest nights rose 5.9% to 864,000 in September from the same month in 2009, according to Statistics New Zealand’s monthly accommodation survey. For a third month in a row it was the only sector to record growth. The total number of visitors fell an annual 1.2% to 2.2 million stays, in the 11th straight month-on-month decline.

“The trend for the total number of guest nights shows a slow decline for the latest 11 months,” the department said in its report. “It is down 1.5% from the October 2009 peak and is 2.5% below the highest month of December 2007.”

International guest nights fell 1.8% and there were 0.9% fewer domestic travellers in September. That came in a month where short-term visitor arrivals rose an annual 1% to 174,200, the most number of foreign tourists in a September month.

Eight of the 12 regions surveyed reported declines in the number of guest nights, led by Taranaki/Manawatu-Wanganui and Waikato. Auckland, Bay of Plenty and Otago reported the biggest gains.

Guests at holiday parks dropped 10%, or 33,000, in September from the same month in 2009, while backpackers fell 7.2%, or 21,000, and motels declined 2.7%, 21,000.

Hotels still made up the biggest share of guest nights at 40%, followed by motels at 35%, holiday parks at 13% and backpackers at 13%.

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