NZ guest nights fall 1.8% in June as Lions tour boosted last year's stays
By Tina Morrison
Aug. 10 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand guest nights fell in June after the year-earlier month was boosted by the Lions rugby tour.
Total guest nights in June dropped 1.8 percent to 2.27 million from June last year when they rose 6.7 percent, Statistics New Zealand said. An 8.2 percent decline in international guest nights led the decline, the agency said, noting international guest nights were 4.8 percent higher in June this year compared with June 2016, ignoring the 2017 peak.
This year's data for June is weaker because last year's June figures were bolstered by a large number of overseas visitors from the UK and Ireland here for the British and Irish Lions rugby tour, which began on June 3. International guest nights in June last year rose 14 percent on the back of the Lions tour, most notably in Auckland and Wellington, with both regions recording decreases this year.
“June is typically a quiet month for short-term commercial accommodation,” Stats NZ accommodation statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said. “This helped make both the Lions tour boost in 2017, and the subsequent fall in 2018, more visible than if it had been over a busier period."
Guest nights in the North Island fell 3.3 percent to 1.44 million in June, while South Island stays edged up 0.8 percent to 832,000. In contrast to the weakness in international guest nights, domestic guest stays increased 2.3 percent to 1.44 million.
Hotels were the only accommodation type to register an increase in stays during the month, edging up 0.2 percent to 935,000. Backpacker nights dropped 9.5 percent to 285,000, while holiday park stays dipped 2.3 percent 299,000, and motel nights slipped 0.8 percent to 749,000. The data doesn't include hosted and private accommodation.
The occupancy rate across accommodation types weakened to 34.2 percent in June from 34.7 percent a year earlier.
In the year to the end of June, 39.9 million guest nights were spent in short-term commercial accommodation, up 2.4 percent from the previous June year. This followed increases of 3.7 percent in the June 2017 year and 5.8 percent in the June 2016 year, the statistics agency said.