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Foreign visitors boost hotel nights in August

Tuesday 12th October 2010

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New Zealand’s hotels reported a 7% increase in overnight guest stays in August, propped up by more overseas visitors amid a slide in domestic guest nights.

International guest nights rose 2% in August compared to the same month in 2009, but were down 5.5% month on month, according to Statistics New Zealand’s monthly accommodation survey.

Domestic guest nights fell 1% over the same period, which resulted in flat overall growth with total guest nights in August down less than 0.1% a year earlier.

“Following a period of increases from January 2009, the trend in total guest nights has been decreasing since September 2009,” said the department.

“The trend level is now 1% lower than in September 2009 and 2% lower than the series peak in December 2007.”

Nine of New Zealand’s 12 regions recorded decreases in guest stays, led by the Taranaki/Manawatu-Wanganui region with a decline of 12% or 17,000 nights, followed by Waikato with a decline of 9% or 13,000, and Wellington down 7% or 13,000.

Auckland visitor nights rose by 11,000, or 11%, after a sharp fall in August 2009. The gains take city’s guest nights back above those in the same month in 2008. Bay of Plenty guest nights rose 10,000, or 6%, and Otago rose 8,000, or 2%, largely driven by international visitors.

Hotels were the only category to record any growth in the month, and also had the largest share of total guest nights at 42%. That’s the highest share of total guest nights for the category since the survey began in 1996.

Holiday parks fell by 6.3%, or 14,000 guest nights, motels and motor inns fell by 5%, or 36,000, and backpackers and hostels fell by 2.8%, or 8,000.

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