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Earthquakes and ash clouds affect South Island guest nights

Earthquakes and ash clouds affect South Island guest nights

A small rise in national guest nights in June 2011 hides mixed results between the North and South Islands, Statistics New Zealand said today.

In the South Island there were 0.6 million guest nights in June 2011, down 9 percent from June 2010. The Canterbury region recorded a large decrease, especially in international guest nights, due to the ongoing impact of the Canterbury earthquakes. The number of guest nights in Otago also significantly decreased.

"Otago's decrease was driven by a fall in Queenstown guest nights," industry and labour statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said. "Later opening dates for ski fields contributed to this, as did flight disruptions due to the ash cloud caused by the eruption of Chile's Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano."

In the North Island there were 1.1 million guest nights in June 2011, an increase of 6 percent from June 2010. This increase was driven by Auckland (up 13 percent), which had the largest rise of any region due mainly to increased domestic guest nights in hotels. Wellington (up 9 percent) was the other North Island region to record a significant increase.

Overall, national guest nights rose 0.3 percent in June 2011, compared with June 2010. This is the second consecutive small increase in guest nights, following falls in the five previous months.

Two of the four accommodation types had more guest nights in June 2011 than in June 2010. Holiday parks recorded the largest increase, which may be related to New Zealand experiencing the third warmest June since records began in 1909. The changes in guest night by accommodation type were:

*  holiday parks up 32,000

*  motels up 26,000

*  hotels down 32,000

*  backpacker accommodation down 21,000.

The Accommodation Survey records guests staying in hotels, motels, backpacker accommodation, and holiday parks in New Zealand each month. For more information on monthly accommodation statistics, please see the Accommodation Survey: June 2011.

AccommodationSurveyJun11 (pdf)

Geoff Bascand Government Statistician

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