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Guest Nights Continue to Rise

Guest Nights Continue to Rise

Total guest nights in short-term commercial accommodation were 3.0 million in March 2004, a 3 percent increase compared with March 2003, according to Statistics New Zealand. The underlying trend in total guest nights has been increasing since June 1998. In March 2004, the trend level in total guest nights was 4 percent higher than in March 2003 and 7 percent higher than in March 2002.

In March 2004, the trend level in North Island guest nights was 3 percent higher and the trend level in South Island guest nights was 6 percent higher than in March 2003. Eight of the 12 regions recorded more guest nights in March 2004 than in the previous March. The Canterbury region (up 42,000 or 9 percent) recorded the largest absolute increase in guest nights between the two March months, followed by the Bay of Plenty region (up 19,000 or 8 percent) and the Hawke's Bay/Gisborne region (up 16,000 or 14 percent).

All accommodation types recorded increases in guest nights in March 2004 compared with March 2003. Motels (up 43,000 or 4 percent) and hotels (up 33,000 or 4 percent) recorded the largest absolute increases in guest nights.

Ten of the 12 regions recorded higher occupancy rates, excluding caravan parks and camping grounds, in March 2004 than in March 2003. The Hawke's Bay/Gisborne region recorded the largest growth in occupancy rate, up 10 percent when comparing the two March months.

In March 2004, the Auckland region recorded the highest occupancy rate, excluding caravan parks and camping grounds, with 74 percent, followed by the Wellington region (72 percent) and the Canterbury region (69 percent).

David Archer

Acting Government Statistician

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