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Easter boosts guest nights in April

17 June 2019

The timing of the Easter holiday led to a 5.1 percent increase in guest nights spent in hotels, motels, backpackers, and holiday parks in April 2019 compared with April 2018, Stats NZ said today.

"Easter falling in April this year meant that guest nights in most regions were higher than in April 2018," accommodation statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said.

“Last year, Easter started at the end of March.”

(Good Friday was 19 April in 2019, 30 March in 2018, and 14 April in 2017.)

The timing of Easter also impacted on March 2019 results. See March guest nights lack last Easter’s lift.

April 2019 guest nights were 4.1 percent higher than two years ago in April 2017, which also included all of the Easter holiday.

“Kiwis spent more nights in commercial accommodation in April, while international guest nights were down,” Ms McKenzie said.

Domestic guest nights rose 14 percent in April 2019 compared with April 2018, while international guest nights fell 5.6 percent. This coincides with a drop in the number of visitors from China. Fall in visitor arrivals from China in April has more information.

West Coast guest nights dampened

Guest nights were up in nine of the twelve regions in April 2019, compared with April 2018. The West Coast region was affected by a highway closure for almost two weeks in April, following flooding in late March. West Coast guest nights in April 2019 were 12 percent lower than in April 2018, despite the change in Easter holiday timing.

Otago and Southland also had small falls in guest nights compared to a year ago. In contrast, all North Island regions experienced an increase compared with April 2018.

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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