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Falling foreign visitors drag down NZ guest nights

BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand’s hotels and motels extended their run of falling guest nights in May, led by a decline in international visitor numbers.

Total guest nights fell 0.3% to 1.9 million in May from the same month a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand says. The decline came from a 2.7% fall in international visitors, to 669,000 guest nights, while domestic guest nights rose 1% to 1.2 million.

The international guest night data tallies with figures from Auckland International Airport for May which showed total international passenger movements, stripping out transits, fell 2.9% to 500,064 after an easing in services to and from Asia and Australia, and the scheduled exit by Qantas on the Auckland-Los Angeles route.

In the North Island, total guest nights fell 1.5% to 1.2 million, while the South Island’s rose 1.9% to 670,000, today’s report showed.

Nationally, guest nights in hotels and backpacker accommodation remain below pre-earthquake levels, with fewer nights spent in backpackers down 5.8% to 16,000 nights. Holiday park accommodation fell 3.5% to 9000 nights.

The number of nights spent in hotels rose 2.1% to 5000.