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Local travellers continue to boost guest nights in May


By Victoria Young

July 12 (BusinessDesk) - Domestic travellers continued to shore up accommodation guest nights in May, helping offset an ongoing slide in international visitors.

Total guest nights were up 0.9 percent to 2.56 million, underpinned by a 6.6 percent rise in domestic traveller guest nights to 1.59 million, Stats NZ said. International guest nights, meanwhile, continued to drop, falling 7.4 percent to 970,000 in May. It was the sixth consecutive month that international guest nights had fallen from year-earlier levels.

For the year ended May 2019, total guests nights were up 1.1 percent to 40.4 million. This is the lowest annual guest night growth for almost six years, excluding a tepid 0.6 percent rise in the year ended March 2019.

"May is typically one of the quieter months for commercial accommodation, with little more than half the guest nights seen in summer months," accommodation statistics manager Melissa McKenzie in a statement.

She noted that the results may indicate international guests are choosing hosted or other accommodation not captured in the survey. The Stats NZ survey will not continue after November, as the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment is seeking a new supplier to capture a wider range of data at a cheaper price.

Today’s figures show backpacker nights in May fell 3 percent to 323,000 from the same period last year, while holiday parks saw a 6.2 percent boost to 383,000.

Both hotel and motel nights remained largely flat on the year, rising 0.5 percent and 0.6 percent, to 1.05 million and 806,000 respectively.

North Island guest nights were up 2.6 percent to 1.6 million from a year ago, while South Island guest nights fell 2.0 percent to 952,000.

Hawke’s Bay led the regions with an increase of 6.9 percent to 102,000 on the year.

Wellington had a substantial increase in guest nights with a 5 percent bump to 243,000 guests, followed by Waikato which had a 4.2 percent lift to 206,000. Auckland also rose, by 2.2 percent to 570,000.

Otago, however, had a 3.5 percent decrease in guest nights to 356,000, while guest nights in all of the South Island regions measured, including Canterbury and Nelson also fell.

Total daily accommodation capacity was 139,000 stay-units, up1.6 percent from a year earlier, with an occupancy rate of 37 percent versus 37.5 percent in May last year.

(BusinessDesk)

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