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Guest nights fall, with big drop in quake-hit Canterbury

Thursday 23rd June 2011

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Big falls in the number of nights visitors spent in earthquake-ravaged Canterbury were behind a 3.7% fall in guest nights in April to 2.7 million.

International visitors accounted for 1m of the guest nights, down 112,000 or 9.9% from April 2010, Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) said today.

In Canterbury international numbers were down 88,000 or 41%, with the next biggest fall being a drop of 14,000 or 6.8% in Otago, and 14,000 or 14% in Bay of Plenty. Wellington gained 7000 international guest nights, a lift of 12% from a year earlier.

The 1.7m guest nights by domestic visitors in April was up 6000 or 0.4%, but for Canterbury there was a fall of 43,000 or 17%, with Hawke's Bay and Gisborne down 17,000 or 17%. Auckland made the biggest gains with a rise of 34,000 or 13%, while Waikato lifted 17,000 or 10% and Bay of Plenty added 10,000 or 5.8%.

A fall of 9.3% or 88,000 in guest nights in hotels in April was mainly due to falls in Canterbury, as was a fall of 34,000 or 6% in holiday parks, and a 10,000 or 2.6% drop for backpacker accommodation, SNZ said. Motel guest nights rose 27,000 or 3%.

Despite those falls, the occupancy rate for hotels rose to 56.2% in April from 55.4 a year earlier, while for backpackers it rose to 46.7% from 44.2%, although it was down to 14.9% from 15.4% for holiday parks. Motel occupancy rose to 52.9% from 49.9%.

Capacity, except at holiday parks, fell, with available accommodation in Christchurch, particularly for hotels and backpacker accommodation, significantly reduced by earthquakes, SNZ said.

Hotel stay unit nights were down 95,000 or 9.5% from a year earlier, backpacker accommodation dropped 52,000 or 6.3%, while motels were down 8000 or 0.9%.



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