NZ guest nights rise in July on school holidays, record short term visitors
By Suze Metherell
Sept. 10 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand guest nights rose 1.3 percent in July as school holidays lifted domestic travel and short-term international visitor numbers rose to a record.
Seasonally adjusted guest nights, which strip out seasonal and irregular movements, rose to 2.88 million, from 2.84 million in June and ahead of the 2.76 million in July last year, according to Statistics New Zealand. Unadjusted guest nights gained 4.2 percent to 2.37 million in July from a year earlier.
Domestic guest nights rose 3.9 percent in the month to a seasonally adjusted 1.74 million, recovering from June's 8.9 percent slide, which was the biggest monthly decline reported since April 2013. International guest nights rose 1.3 percent to 1.15 million in July, from a fall of 2.3 percent in the previous month.
New Zealand school holidays ran for two weeks from July 4, and most likely bolstered domestic travel around the country. Meanwhile, the number of short-term visitor arrivals rose 7 percent to 196,900 in July from a year earlier, a record for a July month, Statistics NZ said in its monthly migration survey.
Guest nights rose across all accommodation types, with the exception of backpackers, which fell 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted 393,000. Holiday park guest nights advanced 5.5 percent to 571,000, motel guest nights increased 3.5 percent to 905,000 and hotel guest nights rose 0.2 percent to 1.02 million.
North Island guest nights rose 0.3 percent to 1.7 million, following a 6.4 percent fall in June. South Island guest nights rose 3.2 percent to 1.18 million, after a 4.7 percent drop in June.
The average stay was 4.5 nights, up from 3.2 in June.