Guest nights fall in August as North Island stays drop at fastest pace in 3 years
New Zealand national guest nights declined in August as stays in the North Island dropped by the largest amount in more than three years.
Total guest nights fell 0.3 percent to 2.44 million in August this year compared with August last year, Statistics New Zealand said. Guest nights in the North Island dropped 3.6 percent, the biggest fall since March 2014 when they declined 6.3 percent, while South Island guest nights increased 4.8 percent, the agency said.
The national decline in guest nights is the first monthly drop in five months and was driven by a 5.8 percent fall in domestic guest nights in the North Island, offsetting an 8.8 percent jump in domestic guest nights in the South Island. International guest nights advanced 1.3 percent in the North Island and 0.9 percent in the South Island.
"Increases in domestic guest nights in the South Island, and modest increases in international guest nights in both islands, weren't enough to offset the North Island's decrease in domestic guest nights this August," accommodation statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said.
Eight of the country's 12 regional areas reported more guest nights. Canterbury nights increased 4.7 percent to 316,000, while the Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman region saw nights rise 14 percent to 114,000 and the West Coast lifted nights 14 percent to 62,000.
Offsetting the declines, Auckland stays fell 5.3 percent to 537,000, Wellington dropped 6.7 percent to 204,000 and Waikato slid 5.6 percent to 187,000.
Hotel guest nights were unchanged at 1.03 million, while motel nights fell 1.8 percent to 819,000 and backpacker stays slipped 0.2 percent to 306,000. Holiday parks bucked the trend, with stays up 2.5 percent to 289,000.
The hotel occupancy rate edged up 0.4 percentage points to 62.8 percent, while the holiday park rate edged up 0.2 percentage points to 10.1 percent, and the backpacker rate advanced 0.3 percentage points to 32.3 percent. Meanwhile the motel rate slipped 0.1 percentage points to 50.6 percent.