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600,000 Overnights for YHA Reflect Record-Growth

600,000 Overnights for YHA Reflect Record-setting Growth

For the second year in a row, New Zealand backpacker accommodation has registered double digit growth, almost twice that of the tourism industry overall.

Latest statistics show that inbound visitor arrivals have driven an increase of 12.3 percent overnights within the sector (compared with 10 percent for the previous year), including a milestone for nationwide budget accommodation leader YHA New Zealand.

YHA New Zealand Chief Executive Officer David Beattie announced that the YHA network reached 600,000 overnights for the 12 months ending February 2003, a record for the organisation.

“Our confidence in New Zealand’s tourism future has only been reinforced by this year’s positive experiences,” Beattie said. “Despite a downturn in global travel due to threats of terrorism and war, the number of independent travellers visiting New Zealand continues to increase.”

New Zealand’s closest neighbours are also travelling with YHA in greater numbers than ever.

Forty-two percent more Australian visitors checked into New Zealand hostels this January than last.

According to Sales and Operations Manager Gordon Burrow, this growth inspires the network to look toward expansion, while continuing to meet and exceed international standards.

“With YHA’s 70-year tradition of taking travellers around the world and around New Zealand on a budget, it’s been a great challenge to constantly add value to their experience.”

Burrow has also marked his eleventh year in the YHA management team, and with this personal milestone will depart on an OE of his own.

“YHA’s aim has been to develop travel as an educational experience, and it’s time for me to revisit these goals for myself.”

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