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Locals boost accommodation numbers in July, foreign visitors dwindling

Monday 12th September 2011

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Local travellers boosted New Zealand’s accommodation numbers in July as the number of foreign visitors signing in at hotels, motels and hostels fell for an 11th month.

Total guest nights rose 1.5% to a seasonally adjusted 2.73 million in July from the same month a year earlier, as domestic visitors climbed 8.5% to 1.5 million, while international guest nights dropped 8.9% to 761,000, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Visitors at motels and holiday parks gained in the month, up 6% to 812,000 and 19% to 280,000 respectively, while hotel guest nights dropped 3.7% to 865,000 and hostels fell 4.5% to 303,000.

At the same time, capacity has dropped 2.6% to 4.17 million, its seventh monthly decline.

Statistics NZ said national guest nights have been falling since the earthquakes began in Canterbury last year, which has seen a decline in international visitors in the South Island, while domestic visitors in the North Island bolstered the national figure.

The tourism sector has been struggling in recent years as the global financial crisis sapped people’s disposable income for long-haul holidays, and that’s been exaggerated by a strong New Zealand dollar eroding visitors’ spending power.

Rising fuel prices, the 2009 swine flu pandemic and this year’s Chile volcano have also made air travel less attractive.


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