Booming tourism in the Mackenzie District has seen Canterbury record an extra 25,000 guest nights in May, topping Stats NZ’s latest accommodation survey.
Guest nights were up in all 12 regions across the country in May 2017 compared to the same month last year with a national increase of 7.3%. The annual increase for the year to May was 4%.
Canterbury showed the greatest increase in guest nights with 25,000, up 8.4%, followed by Bay of Plenty up 19,000 or 8.6%, Auckland up 19,000 or 3.2%, and Northland, up 17,000 or 20%. The West Coast had the smallest increase, up 5,000 or 7.2%.
The increase in Canterbury was driven by more guest nights in the Mackenzie District, said Stats NZ. It was also helped by Kaikoura guest nights recovering to similar levels as last year, down just 2.1% compared to May 2016.
“In the months after the November 2016 earthquakes, commercial guest nights in Kaikoura were 30 to 80% lower than the same months of the previous year,” said Stats NZ’s accommodation statistics manager Melissa McKenzie.
“It appears the combination of a slower winter month and construction workers staying in Kaikoura have helped May guest nights recover.”
The British and Irish Lions rugby tour, which had its first game in Northland in early June, may have had some impact in May, however, the impact on guest nights will likely be clearer in next month’s accommodation figures, said Stats NZ.
All accommodation types reported increases in guest nights. Domestic guest nights were up 6.4% and international guest nights were up 8.7%. The North Island reported an increase of 7.6% and the Southe Island grew 6.9%.
Seasonally adjusted guest nights for May 2017 fell 2.5% compared with the preceding April, retreating from some of the gains in March and April.
Short-term visitor arrivals to New Zealand were up 8% in May compared with the same month last year, with the biggest change in arrivals being from Australia, up 12%.
The Accommodation Survey collects data for guests staying in short-term commercial hotels, motels, backpacker accommodation, and holiday parks in New Zealand each month. Private accommodation is excluded.