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Guest nights rise in December but fall for 2011 year
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  10 February 2012

Accommodation Survey: December 2011  –  Media Release

Total guest nights in short-term commercial accommodation rose 1.4 percent to 3.2 million in December 2011, compared with December 2010, Statistics New Zealand said today. In contrast, annual guest nights fell 0.7 percent compared with the December 2010 year.

"In December, the North Island had more visitors from both overseas and within New Zealand, while the South Island had more Kiwi visitors compared with December 2010," industry and labour statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said. "The number of international visitors to the South Island continues to be lower month on month since the Canterbury earthquakes began in September 2010."

North Island guest nights rose 3.9 percent in the December 2011 month, while South Island guest nights fell 2.0 percent. The Canterbury region continued to show the largest fall in guest nights, followed by Nelson/Marlborough/Tasman, parts of which were affected by flooding in December 2011. The Auckland and Otago regions showed the largest rises for December 2011.

The annual fall in guest nights was largely due to fewer people spending nights in Canterbury (down almost 1 million guest nights) over the December 2011 year. To put the size of this fall into context, the combined yearly increases for Auckland, Wellington, and Waikato (which had the largest yearly increases of all regions) were more than offset by the fall in Canterbury.

Two of the four accommodation types had more guest nights in December 2011 than in December 2010. The changes in guest nights by accommodation type were: 

  • motels, up 4.7 percent
  • holiday parks, up 4.7 percent
  • backpacker accommodation, down 5.3 percent
  • hotels, down 1.6 percent.

The Accommodation Survey records guests staying in hotels, motels, backpacker accommodation, and holiday parks in New Zealand each month. The survey does not include visitors staying on cruise ships and in private dwellings.

For more information on monthly accommodation statistics, see the Accommodation Survey: December 2011; for visitor numbers, see International Travel and Migration.

Geoff Bascand 10 February 2012
Government Statistician


For media enquiries contact:             
Louise Holmes-Oliver
Christchurch 03 964 8700

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