Guest nights rise in August as more locals check in

BUSINESSDESK: New Zealand guest nights rose in August as the number of Kiwis checking into local accommodation offset a decrease in international guest nights.

Total guest nights rose a seasonally adjusted 2.6% to 2.6 million in August compared to July, Statistics New Zealand says. The rise came from a 3.2% increase in domestic guest nights to 1.6 million. International guest nights fell 0.2% to 1 million easing, from a decline of 4% in July.

The trend for international guest nights "appears to be rising" from its low point in March 2012, the government statistician says.

The fall in international guest nights came in the same month when figures showed a 5% rise in the number of short-term arrivals to 2.6 million.

Hotel guest nights were up 7.1% to 513,000, turning around a 12% decrease in July. Nights at motels, backpacker accommodation and holiday parks were little changed.

North Island guest nights rose 3.9% to 1.6 million in August, which follows a decrease of 12% in July. Guest nights in the South Island were unchanged at about 1 million.

The national trend for guest nights has been generally declining since December 2009, with the trend of domestic guest nights "relatively flat" in 2012.

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