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Guest Nights Trend Increasing

Guest Nights Trend Increasing

The underlying trend in total guest nights in short-term commercial accommodation has been increasing since June 1998, according to Statistics New Zealand. In December 2003, the trend level in total guest nights was 3 percent higher than the level in December 2002 and 8 percent higher than in December 2001.

Actual total guest nights were 3.1 million in December 2003, a 5 percent increase compared with December 2002 and a 9 percent increase compared with December 2001. Total guest nights for the year ended December 2003 were 2 percent higher than the year ended December 2002 and 9 percent higher than the year ended December 2001.

In December 2003, the trend level in North Island guest nights was 2 percent higher, and the trend level in South Island guest nights was 3 percent higher, than in December 2002. In December 2003, actual total guest nights in the North Island were up 3 percent, while actual total guest nights in the South Island were up 8 percent, compared with December 2002.

Nine of the 12 regions recorded more guest nights in December 2003 than in December 2002.

The Canterbury region (up 37,000 or 8 percent) recorded the largest absolute increase in guest nights between the two December months, followed by Otago (up 35,000 or 10 percent) and Hawke's Bay/Gisborne (up 23,000 or 19 percent).

All five accommodation types recorded increases in guest nights in December 2003 compared with December 2002. Motels (up 80,000 or 9 percent) recorded the largest absolute increase in guest nights.

For the year ended December 2003, three of the five accommodation types recorded increases in guest nights compared with the previous December year. Motels (up 355,000 or 4 percent) recorded the largest absolute increase, followed by backpackers/hostels (up 224,000 or 7 percent) and caravan parks/camping grounds (up 113,000 or 2 percent).

The December 2003 occupancy rate, excluding caravan parks/camping grounds, was 56 percent, up from 54 percent in December 2002. Backpackers/hostels, hotels, and motels all recorded occupancy rates of 57 percent in December 2003.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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