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Backpacker Guest Nights Up 9 Percent

Accommodation Survey: January 2002

Backpackers/hostels recorded 9 percent more guest nights in January 2002 than in January 2001, according to Statistics New Zealand. Over the same period, backpackers/hostels in 10 of the 12 regions recorded their highest monthly total for guest nights since the survey began in July 1996.

All accommodation types recorded higher levels of guest nights in January 2002 than in January 2001. Guests spent a total of 3.9 million nights in short-term commercial accommodation during January 2002. This figure is 3 percent above the January 2001 level, and follows increases of 5 percent in December 2001 and 2 percent in November 2001, when compared with the corresponding months in the previous year.

Domestic visitors spent 2.5 million nights in short-term commercial accommodation in January 2002, up 3 percent from January 2001. Guests from the Auckland region recorded the largest growth rate, up 8 percent, and contributed to more than 70 percent of the increase in domestic guest nights.

International guests accounted for 1.4 million guest nights in January 2002, 2 percent more than in January 2001. Visitors from the UK/Ireland (up 40,000, or 17 percent) and Korea (up 29,000, or 65 percent) recorded the largest growth between the two January months. Offsetting these increases were falls in the number of visitors from Australia, Japan, Germany and Other Asia country groupings. The most significant of these were Other Asia (down 26,000, or 19 percent) and Australia (down 16,000, or 6 percent).

Apart from hotels, all accommodation types recorded more international guest nights in January 2002 than in January 2001. Hotels had 2 percent fewer international guest nights when comparing the same months.

North Island guest nights increased by 4 percent while South Island guest nights were up 1 percent in January 2002 when compared with January 2001. This is the third consecutive month that the North Island has recorded higher guest night growth than the South Island when compared with the same month in the previous year.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

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