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Record foreign visitors in November

Last updated 14:57 17/01/2014

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The number of foreign visitors staying in hotels and other commercial accommodation rose by 7.1 per cent in November, boosted by a record number of international arrivals.

Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) accommodation survey figures released today show the trend for New Zealand guest nights remains at a record high, but the rate of growth may be easing. Trends for North Island and domestic guest nights are also at a record high.

North Island guest nights rose 2.5 per cent in November while South Island guest nights rose by 0.7 per cent.

Although the number of domestic guest nights fell 0.7 per cent in November, this followed a rise of 2.6 per cent in October.

The trend for domestic guest nights continues to grow and is at a record level, with Otago and Canterbury showing the largest rises of all regions, according to SNZ.

Overall available capacity in short-term accommodation rose 0.8 per cent in November, compared with the same month in the previous year.

Tourism Industry Association chief executive Martin Snedden said the SNZ figures agreed with reports from his association's hotel operators.

"Our hotel members reported good steady trading throughout November with a small increase in overall occupancy," he said.

"Although domestic guest nights were reasonably flat, they have been growing," Snedden said.

"Kiwi travellers are a very important part of the $23.9 billion tourism industry, making up nearly 60 per cent of the industry."

Capacity at hotels and backpacker accommodation both increased by 1.6 per cent, holiday parks capacity rose by 0.7 per cent, while capacity at motels decreased by 0.5 per cent.

The International Travel and Migration statistics show 251,100 international visitor arrivals in November, which was up 18,900 on the same month in the previous year and a new November record, SNZ said. The biggest rises were in arrivals from Australia and the United States, which were up by 7000 and 4700 respectively, while arrivals from China were down by 3400.

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- Fairfax Media

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