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NZ guest nights fall in March on falling international visitor numbers

Thursday 10th May 2012

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New Zealand guest nights at holiday parks, hotels and backpacker fell in March as dwindling foreign visitor numbers sapped demand for local accommodation.

Total guest nights fell 0.8 percent to 3.1 million in March from the same month a year ago, according to Statistics New Zealand. The bulk of the decline came from a 3.6 percent drop in guest nights from international visitors to 1.3 million, with a sharper fall in South Island accommodation. International visitors spending on guest nights decreased 3.6 percent in March to $1.3 million.

That was offset by a 1.4 percent gain in guest nights from New Zealanders to 1.8 million.

The figures come after the Ministry of Tourism data showed 2.62 million foreign visitors spent $5.64 billion locally in the year ended March 31, with a rising number of Australians failing to make up the short-fall of fewer Korean and Japanese visitors who typically spend more.

International guest nights decreased in 8 of the country's 12 regions in last month, led by Northland down 25 percent and Otago which fell 8 percent. The highest number of international guest nights was recorded in Auckland, which rose 6 percent.

Domestic guest nights increased in 6 of the 12 regions last month. The Bay of Plenty led the fall in regional guest nights, down 6.6 percent, followed by Northland on 13 percent. Auckland had the largest rise up about 7 percent.

Nationally, three of the four accommodation types had fewer guest nights. Holiday parks bore the brunt of the fall down 5.6 percent, followed by back packer accommodation down 2.7 percent and motels slipping 2.1 percent.

Hotels bucked the trend with an increase of 4.4 percent in its number of March guest nights.

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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