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Easter Timing Affects March Guest Nights

Accommodation Survey: March 2006

Embargoed until 10:45am — 12 May 2006

Easter Timing Affects March Guest Nights

Guest nights in short-term commercial accommodation were 7 percent lower in March 2006 than in March 2005, Statistics New Zealand said today. The timing of Easter, which occurred in March in 2005, and April in 2006, contributed to this decrease. This should be noted when comparing the figures for March 2006 with those for March 2005. Guest nights in March 2006 were 4 percent higher than in March 2004, the previous non-Easter March month.

The trend in total guest nights has flattened since September 2004, following a period of increases that began in July 1998.

In March 2006, guest nights were 6 percent lower in the North Island and 7 percent lower in the South Island, compared with March 2005. The Wellington region was the only region to record an increase in guest nights, while the Canterbury, Bay of Plenty and Auckland regions recorded the largest decreases in guest nights.

Backpackers/hostels was the only accommodation type to record more guest nights in March 2006 than in March 2005. The largest decreases were recorded by caravan parks/camping grounds and motels.

Guest nights for the March 2006 year were 1 percent lower than for the March 2005 year. Four of the 12 regions recorded more guest nights, with Wellington and Otago recording the largest increases and Canterbury, Auckland and Bay of Plenty the largest decreases.

Backpackers/hostels and hotels were the only two accommodation types to record more guest nights in the March 2006 year than in the March 2005 year.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician


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