Extra rooms attract more visitors to region

CECILE MEIER
Last updated 13:40 11/12/2013

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Christchurch has 500 more hotel rooms than a year ago, attracting more visitors to Canterbury, according to new data.

Statistics New Zealand's latest accommodation survey, released today, shows a rise in travellers booking accommodation at Canterbury's motels, hotels, backpackers and holiday parks.

That lifted the number of all guest nights by 6.2 per cent in October compared with October last year.

Statistics New Zealand said the rise was well ahead of the 1.5 per cent of national growth, but the rate may be slowing.

Trends were rising for domestic guest nights, but were falling for international guest nights and most accommodation types.

The Tourism Industry Association's chairman for Canterbury hotels, Bruce Garrett, said hotels opening in Christchurch and existing hotels completing repairs meant about 500 more rooms were now available in the region.

The association's hotel members reported similar occupancy rates of 78 per cent in October this year compared with October last year, and 84 per cent last month compared with 92 per cent in November last year.

Garrett said the total number of hotel guest nights had risen by 40 per cent in the year to October.

He had heard that visitors were shifting back to using hotels rather than motels.

However, the number of hotel beds  was still only 40 per cent of what Christchurch had before the earthquakes, he said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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