Overseas visitors drove growth in guest nights for the South Island in November 2018, Stats NZ says.
South Island overseas guest nights rose 9.7 percent from November 2017, while the North Island had 2.8 percent fewer overseas guest nights in short-term commercial accommodation.
Tourism hotspots Canterbury and Queenstown had the most growth in international guest nights, up 23 and 6.9 percent respectively from November 2017. These were followed by Mackenzie (which includes Lake Tekapo), Wanaka, Fiordland, West Coast, and Auckland regional tourism areas.
“Increased international guest nights in the South Island were consistent with international visitor arrivals, which were also up in Christchurch and Queenstown for November,” accommodation and construction statistics manager Melissa McKenzie says.
Both monthly and annually, more international guest nights were spent in Queenstown and Canterbury than anywhere else in the South Island. Queenstown hotels, motels, backpackers, and holiday parks accommodated 2.6 million overseas guest nights in the year ended November 2018 (up 3.5 percent from the November 2017 year). Over the same period, Canterbury overseas guest nights were lower in number (1.9 million nights) but grew at a higher rate, up 18 percent from the November 2017 year.
“While international guest nights in Canterbury continued to recover from the 2011 earthquakes, Queenstown has kept its title as the number one South Island destination,” Melissa.
In annual terms, South Island international guest nights rose 6.3 percent from the 2017 November year, while North Island international nights were down 0.7 percent.
Together, domestic and international guests spent 40.3 million nights in New Zealand short-term commercial accommodation in the year ended November 2018, up 2.6 percent from the year ended November 2017.
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.