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Total guest nights numbered 2.7 million in April 2012, down 2.1 percent from April 2011, Statistics New Zealand said today.
There were 2.5 percent fewer domestic guest nights, and 1.5 percent fewer international guest nights. Increases in Auckland only partly offset decreases in most other regions.
"Total guest nights fell 3.5 percent in the North Island, with Auckland the only North Island region to show an increase in April," industry and labour statistics manager Blair Cardno said. "In the South Island, Otago and Canterbury both had more guest nights compared with last year, but the South Island total was unchanged."
Canterbury guest nights were up 1.7 percent from April 2011, but down 27 percent from April 2010. This reflected how the Canterbury earthquakes (particularly those in February 2011) affected the region's short-term commercial accommodation industry. The trend for South Island guest nights continues to decline.
Nationally, three of the four accommodation types had fewer guest nights. Hotel guest nights rose, but from a level that was reduced in 2011 due to the Canterbury earthquakes. Canterbury's figures for hotel and backpacker accommodation capacity and international guest nights remain below their pre-earthquake levels.
The Accommodation Survey records guests staying in hotels, motels, backpacker accommodation, and holiday parks in New Zealand each month.