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International guest nights down in South Island
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  31 May 2011

Accommodation Survey: March 2011  –  Media Release

Guest nights fell 5.4 percent in March 2011 compared with March 2010, Statistics New Zealand said today. The decrease was driven by a fall in international guest nights in the Canterbury region and throughout the South Island. International guest nights in the South Island fell by 24 percent compared with March 2010.

"Nationally, capacity has dropped, driven by the decrease in the Canterbury region," business statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said. "Due to the earthquakes in September 2010 and February 2011, less accommodation was available in Canterbury. Available capacity was down by half for hotels and by a third for backpacker accommodation, compared with March 2010. This should be kept in mind when looking at figures for the Canterbury region."

All five South Island regions had fewer guest nights in March 2011 compared with March 2010, recording an overall decrease in guest nights of 15 percent. Canterbury had by far the largest regional decrease (down 30 percent), due to fewer international guest nights. The North Island recorded an overall increase in guest nights, led by increases in Auckland (up 8.0 percent) and Wellington (up 4.4 percent).

All four accommodation types had fewer guest nights in March 2011 than March 2010. Hotels and backpacker accommodation had the largest decreases, down 10.6 percent and 8.2 percent respectively, which can both be completely accounted for by decreases in Canterbury guest nights.

The Accommodation Survey records guests staying in hotels, motels, backpacker accommodation, and holiday parks in New Zealand each month.

For more information on monthly accommodation statistics, please see the Accommodation Survey: March 2011.

Geoff Bascand 31 May 2011
Government Statistician

END

For media enquiries contact:             
Louise Holmes-Oliver
Wellington 04 931 4600
Email: info@stats.govt.nz

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