Accommodation nights fall in May
Substantial rises in the number of visitors to Otago and the Waikato weren't enough to lift the overall guest accommodation figures for May, Statistics NZ figures show.
Total guest nights fell by 0.3 per cent to 1.9 million despite Otago rising by 9.5 per cent, mostly due to people staying in Queenstown hotels.
Waikato also rose 11 per cent to 12,000.
The regions suffering the biggest downturn were Northland, which fell by 10,000 guest nights or 24 per cent, and Nelson/Marlborough/Tasman down 15 per cent or 6,000 guest nights.
Overall domestic guest nights rose in 8 of the country's 12 regions.
There was a slight drop in international guest nights, down 2.7 per cent while domestic guest nights rose 1 per cent to 1.2 million.
The International Travel and Migration statistics show 140,800 short-term visitors arrived in New Zealand in May, which was up less than 1 per cent on the same month the previous year. But May last year suffered from an unusual drop-off due to the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
This month the largest increase in visitor numbers was from China, and the biggest decline was from Australia.
When it comes to the type of accommodation people are staying in, guest nights in backpacker accommodation and holiday parks fell, but hotels and motels lifted.
Backpacker accommodation was the worst hit during May, falling by 16,000 guest nights or 5.8 per cent while holiday parks dropped 3.5 per cent to 9,000.
Hotels, which comprised the largest portion of the overall 1.9 million guest nights in May, were up 15,000 or 2.1 per cent.
Motels dropped 0.8 per cent in May and the trend has been a 3.6 per cent fall since a high point in August last year.
Although national capacity for accommodation is up slightly from May last year, there is still less capacity than before the Canterbury earthquakes. Many of Canterbury's large hotels are in the Christchurch central business district and were damaged or placed off-limits in 2010 and 2011.
Auckland had the highest occupancy rate at 55.3 per cent, (down 2.7 per cent), followed by Wellington on 53.3 per cent (down 1.4 per cent), and Canterbury at 41.3 per cent (down 1.8 per cent).
- © Fairfax NZ News
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