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Kiwis Paying More for Overseas Travel: New Report

UNDER STRICT EMBARGO: Not for publication before March 4, 6pm

New Zealand Hotel Market Bounces Back: Prices rise by 5%, above a global average of 3%
New Zealand hotel rates rise by 5% to $152 over the past year
Napier, Christchurch and Wellington see the biggest hotel price rises in New Zealand
Chinese travellers biggest spenders on New Zealand accommodation, followed by the US and Singapore
Auckland, 4 March 2014: The latest™ Hotel Price Index™ (HPI™) has revealed a 5% boost in hotel prices paid by global visitors to New Zealand – trumping a global increase of 3%.

The HPI, based on hotel prices paid by travellers in 2013 compared with 2012, shows guests paid on average $152 per night, per room.

While the HPI data shows that hotel guests* paid on average 5% more for their accommodation in 2013, compared to 2012, price movements at an individual city level were fairly contained.

A strong New Zealand Dollar, particularly against the Australian Dollar, resulted in an increase in consumer confidence. This, coupled with the New Zealand Government announcing an additional $158 million funding of tourism infrastructure over four years was the main force behind hotel rates bouncing back across the country. The new funding, announced mid last year, will see hotel growth in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, although major construction is yet to begin.

Across the country, Napier recorded the highest rise of 8% to $166 followed by Christchurch up 7% to $164, with a number of larger hotels back in business following post-earthquakes.

While Australia is still New Zealand’s core inbound travel market, the nation continued to draw a rising number of Chinese travellers through the increased focus on targeted marketing campaigns, along with the economic growth of China and the rise of the Chinese middle class.
Abhiram Chowdhry, Vice President and Managing Director, Asia Pacific for, said: “It’s great to see hotel prices in New Zealand making a healthy recovery. With the continued investment in the tourism industry this is set to continue. According to the HPI, Chinese travellers were the biggest spenders on accommodation in New Zealand and as the country continues to attract their custom, hoteliers will be well placed to benefit.”
Four cities saw a 6% increase taking Queenstown to $187, Franz Josef Glacier to $176, Wellington to $146 and Dunedin to $142.

Meanwhile, Auckland reaped the rewards of hosting several high profile pop artists and bands, including Rihanna, Beyoncé and One Direction, which saw domestic demand drive hotel prices up by 5% to $145 on average per night.
New Zealand’s place where travellers paid most to stay was Lake Tekapo at $194 on average per night, which rose in price by 3%.
On the other hand, other locations across the country saw falls with Gisborne decreasing 9% to $126 and Blenheim down 5% to $165 while a 4% decline saw New Plymouth go to $131 per night and Invercargill to $110 - making it the destination in New Zealand where travellers paid the least.

Average price per room per night in 2013 compared with 2012 across New Zealand:

DestinationCostPrice Increase
Franz Josef Glacier$1766%


Top international spenders*

RankCountry/Region20132012% change
1China$172 $169 1%
2USA$170 $165 3%
3Singapore$168 $165 2%
4Australia$165 $159 4%
5India$162 $150 8%
6Brazil$160 $148 8%
7Japan$155 $153 2%
8=Norway$154 $141 10%
8=Switzerland$154 $142 9%
10=Canada$151 $151 0%
10=South Korea$151 $138 9%

It was visitors from China who spent the most money to stay in New Zealand, up 1% to $172 on average per night. However, American globetrotters were hot on their heels, paying an average of $170 per night with a 3% rise.
Singaporeans were the third biggest spenders, paying $168 on average per night following a 2% increase; while Australians were in fourth place, paying $165 on average per night, parting with 4% more of their travel budget.
At $162 on average per night, travellers from India rounded out the top five spenders when it came to stays in New Zealand shelling out 8% more than the year before.

Focus on New Zealand travellers: Australia more affordable**
A drop in corporate demand as a result of the decline in the mineral resources industry impacted the average rates paid in some areas. A 7% decline took Brisbane to $195 and Melbourne fell 5% to $196. Elsewhere on Australia’s east coast, popular Gold Coast dropped 11% to $170 and Cairns was down 10% to $153. While ever-popular Sydney, rose 4% to $229.

Asia still best value**
In China, New Zealand travellers paid 12% more in Beijing at $146 on average per night, and 6% less in Shanghai at $136.
Singapore was the highest placed destination in the overall price chart in seventh place on $242 on average per night, following an 8% increase. At the other end of the scale, Ho Chi Minh City was the destination where New Zealanders paid the least on average, at $95 per night; up 6%.
In Thailand, Phuket was up 7% at $143 on average per night and Bangkok fell 2% to $106.
New Zealander’s paid 20% less on average in Osaka (at $133 per night) while Tokyo was down 12% (at $181), following the fall in value of the Yen and Rupee.
In Hong Kong, new hotel openings increased supply which led to New Zealanders paying 8% less with hotel rates averaging average of $220 per night, although occupancy stayed high.

European prices steadied**
With the worst of the global economic crisis over in many parts of Europe, there were more increases than decreases in European hotel stays for New Zealand travellers.

London continued to enjoy the aftermath of its Olympic year in the spotlight during 2012, attracting more visitors in 2013. This, combined with other high profile events such as the birth of the Royal baby in June, meant that New Zealand visitors to the capital paid an extra 3% at an average of $256 for their hotel accommodation, making it the highest placed European destination.

Barcelona saw the highest increase in the region, up 17% at $211 on average per night, Paris was up 8% at $255 and Amsterdam added 7% at $226. Dublin, which had seen their prices paid plummet during the economic crisis, saw a continued reversal of fortunes with its average up 5% at $158.

The biggest percentage price rises in 2013 compared with 2012 in NZD:

Destination20132012% change

The biggest percentage price falls in 2013 compared with 2012 in NZD:

Destination20132012% change
Gold Coast$170$190-11%
Washington DC$220$239-8%
Hong Kong$220$239-8%

– Ends –
Notes to editors
* These sections of the HPI New Zealand version show New Zealand hotel prices per room per night as paid by all travellers in New Zealand Dollars, comparing prices paid throughout 2012 with those paid in 2013.
** These sections of the HPI New Zealand version show New Zealand hotel prices per room per night as paid by New Zealand travellers in New Zealand Dollars, comparing prices paid throughout 2012 with those paid in 2013.
About the Hotel Price Index
The HPI is based on bookings made on sites around the world and tracks the real prices paid per hotel room (rather than advertised rates) for more than 150,000 properties.
About is a leading online accommodation booking website with more than 260,000 properties worldwide, ranging from international chains and all-inclusive resorts to local favourites and bed & breakfasts, together with all the information needed to book the perfect stay. benefits from one of the largest hotel contracting teams in the industry, negotiating the best rates for its customers, and offers frequent sales, special deals and promotions. Regular customer e-newsletters provide exclusive offers and advance warning of up-coming sales. There are over 10 million guest reviews on the site from users who have actually stayed in the hotels to ensure customers can make an informed choice when booking. Through its industry-leading loyalty program -- Welcome Rewards -- customers can earn a free night at more than 100,000 hotels for every 10 nights stayed. Under its Price Match Guarantee, if a customer can find the same deal for less on a prepaid hotel, will refund the difference. Travellers can book online or by contacting one of the multilingual call centres. Special apps for mobile phones and tablets can also be downloaded at enabling customers to book on the go with access to 20,000 last minute deals. For the last ten years, has published an award-winning twice-yearly review of international hotel room price trends called the Hotel Price Index which is now produced in 31 individual country editions. Follow on Facebook at, on Twitter at and on YouTube at is part of Expedia Inc., the largest online travel company in the world with an extensive portfolio that includes some of the world's best-known brands. and the logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of, LP, in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners. © 2002-2014, LP.

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