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International guest nights dip in February

International guest nights spent in short-term commercial accommodation decreased 3.2 percent in February 2019 compared with the same month last year, Stats NZ said today.

In contrast, guest nights spent by Kiwis in commercial accommodation increased, partly offsetting the fall for international nights. Total guest nights were relatively flat (down 0.4 percent).

“Fewer international guest nights in commercial accommodation this February coincided with fewer international visitors arriving in the month, particularly from China,” accommodation and construction statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said.

The timing of the Chinese New Year can affect the travel patterns of people coming to New Zealand to celebrate. The holiday fell in early February this year, compared with mid-February in 2018. Some visitors who were here for the festivities may have arrived in January. See Visitor numbers from China fall short of last year’s record.

International guests outnumber Kiwis despite fall

International guest nights outnumbered Kiwi guest nights in the month of February for the fourth time in just over a decade.

The number of nights that international guests spend in commercial accommodation generally peak in January and remain high in February. In contrast, the number of guest nights Kiwis spend usually drops sharply in February from the January holiday peak.

In the 12 months to February 2019, international guests spent 17.5 million nights in commercial accommodation, up 0.4 percent from the February 2018 year. Over the same period Kiwis spent 22.9 million nights, up 3.0 percent.

The accommodation survey collects data for guests staying in short-term commercial accommodation such as hotels, motels, backpackers, and holiday parks. Hosted and private accommodation, such as bed and breakfasts, and holiday homes, are excluded.

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