Ski, sun and school holidays boost guest nights

School holidays, good weather and a longer ski season saw total guest nights from across New Zealand rise to 3.15 million in October, up 4.8% on the same month last year, according to Stats NZ’s latest accommodation survey.

Domestic guest nights were up 4.6% to 1.84 million and international guest nights were up 5%, to 1.3 million.

“Good weather, an extended ski season, and more school holidays falling in October than last year, may have contributed to increases in guest nights across the country,” said Stats NZ’s accommodation statistics manager, Melissa McKenzie.

“Interestingly, domestic and international guest nights increased a similar amount, both up about 5% from October 2016.”

The South Island saw guest nights jump 8.4% while guest nights in the North Island rose 2.5%.

“October was a busy month with guest nights increasing in 11 of the 12 regions, with over half of the national increase occurring in Canterbury, Otago, and the Bay of Plenty,” said McKenzie.

“The only exception to widespread increases in guest nights occurred in Auckland, where guest nights fell 6.3% from a high last October.”

Guest nights in Southland jumped 20% and the Taranaki, Manawatu and Wanganui region rose 15%.

More than half the national increase came from the Bay of Plenty, Otago and Canterbury, where guest nights rose 9.2%, 7.3% and 7.5% respectively.

“The growth in the Bay of Plenty was driven by increases in motel and holiday park guest nights,” said McKenzie.

“The strong growth in Canterbury was driven by more guest nights spent in hotels and backpackers than in October last year. In Otago, motel and hotel guest nights increased the most, boosted by tourist hot spots Wanaka and Queenstown.”

Overall, the trends for hotel and motel guest nights showed little movement with backpackers, which had been declining consistently, now appeared to be flat. The trend for holiday parks continued to rise.

Holiday park guest nights for October jumped 16% to 545,000 compared to the same month last year, motel nights rose 4.6% to 1.04 million, backpackers lifted 1.5% to 408,000 and hotel guest nights rose 1.2% to 1.15 million.

The hotel occupancy rose slightly by 0.3% to 68.2%, holiday parks rose 1.9% to 16.3%, backpackers increased 0.5% to 41%, however, the motel rate fell 0.8% to 58.2%.

Click here for Stats NZ’s accommodation survey October 2017

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