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Continuing Strong Demand for Accommodation

Accommodation Survey: February 2000

Continuing Strong Demand for Accommodation

Nights spent by guests in commercial accommodation were 11 per cent higher in February 2000 than in February 1999. A 14 per cent increase in international visitors over the same period and an extra day in February 2000 contributed to the rise.

Guest nights in all regions were higher in February 2000 than in February 1999. The Auckland region had the largest increase in guest nights up 21 per cent, followed by Waikato up 17 per cent. The increase in Auckland may be partly attributed to the America's Cup yachting finals. A number of events are likely contributors to the increase in the Waikato region and include an international vintage car rally, the South Pacific Masters Games and the New Zealand Women's Bowls Championships. In February 2000 the Southland region recorded its highest monthly total for guest nights since the survey began in July 1996.

In February 2000, hotels recorded their highest monthly total for guest nights since the survey began, while both backpackers/hostels and hosted accommodation recorded their second highest monthly totals.

Demand for accommodation for the six months ended February 2000 was 8 per cent higher than the same period 12 months earlier, with guest nights higher in all regions. The Auckland region recorded by far the largest percentage rise in guest nights, with backpackers/hostels up 36 per cent and hotels up 25 per cent. Guest nights also increased for all accommodation types, with backpackers/hostels and hotels having the strongest growth.

The national hotel occupancy rate in February 2000 was the highest since the survey began. The Auckland region was the highest with an 80 per cent hotel occupancy rate. Four other regions had rates above 70 per cent. The Auckland region's rate was achieved on top of an increase in hotel capacity of 47 per cent or 2,100 rooms in the last three years.

The Canterbury, Otago and West Coast regions recorded their highest hotel occupancy rates since the survey began. Of all the accommodation types, hotels have recorded the highest occupancy rates for six of the last eight months.

The Accommodation Survey is funded by regional tourism organisations throughout New Zealand.

Ian Ewing

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