Holiday park guest nights jumped 11.1% to 306,000 in June compared to the same month last year, lifted by visitors in New Zealand for the Lions rugby tour.
National guest nights rose by 6.7% to 2.3m with international guest nights up 14.1%.
“The Lions rugby tour drove strong increases in international guest nights in June 2017,” said Stats NZ in its latest Accommodation Survey. “The effect of the Lions tour on accommodation was most obvious in the Auckland and Wellington regions.”
Auckland hosted the only All Blacks test match in June, while fans may have stayed in Wellington between the Hurricanes match on 27 June and the All Blacks test match on 1 July, said Stats NZ’s accommodation statistics manager, Melissa McKenzie.
Compared with June 2016, international guest nights were up 27,000 in Auckland and up 28,000 in Wellington region. The region with the next largest increase was Otago, up 23,000, driven by Queenstown.
Rises in international guest nights in these regions were partly offset by falls in domestic guest nights: down 17,000 in Auckland, 7,000 in Wellington, and 3,000 in Otago.
Guest nights increased for all four accommodation types:
- hotels – up 51,000 (5.8%) to 933,000
- motels – up 56,000 (8.1%) to 755,000
- backpackers – up 8,000 (2.5%) to 314,000
- holiday parks – up 31,000 (11.1%) to 306,000.
Nationally, international guest nights rose 14.1% to 898,000 – an increase of 111,000. Domestic guest nights rose 2.6% to 1.4m.
Visitor arrivals from the United Kingdom and Ireland were up 33,900 in June 2017 compared with June 2016, as reported in Lions supporters prop up visitor arrivals.
The biggest spike was for arrivals from the UK in the week started 19 June. The tour began on 3 June with the Lions playing the Barbarians in Whangarei, but the first test match between the Lions and the All Blacks was on 24 June in Auckland.
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.