Guest nights drop as domestic North Island stays fall

National guest nights dropped slightly in August driven by a fall in North Island stays by domestic travellers, according to Stats NZ’s accommodation survey for the month.

Overall guest nights across the country were down 0.3% to 2.44 million compared to the same month last year, with the North Island falling 3.6% driven by a drop in domestic guest nights by 5.8%. It was the North Island’s largest fall since March 2014 when guest nights fell by 6.3%.

In contrast, guest nights in the South Island were up 4.8% higher than in August 2016, driven by an increase in domestic guest nights.

“Increases in domestic guest nights in the South Island, and modest increases in international guest nights in both islands, weren’t enough to offset the North Island’s decrease in domestic guest nights this August,” said Stats NZ’s accommodation statistics manager, Melissa McKenzie.

In the North Island, guest nights fell in Auckland 5.3% to 537,000, Wellington slipped 6.7% to 204,000, and the Waikato was down 5.6% to 187,000.

In the South Island, Canterbury guest nights increased 4.7% to 316,000, while the Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman region saw nights rise 14% to 114,000 and the West Coast also increased 14% to 62,000.

For the year ended August 2017, 39 million guest nights were spent in short-term commercial accommodation, an increase of 1.1 million on the previous August year, said Stats NZ.

Guest nights decreased for two of the four accommodation types with hotel flat at around 1 million, holiday parks up 2.5% to 289,000, but motels down 1.8% to 819,000 and backpackers down slightly 0.2% to 306,000.

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