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Easter helps guest nights rise in April

NZN 12/06/2017 Sophie Boot

New Zealand national guest nights rose in April, boosted by the busy Easter holiday period.

Total guest nights climbed 6.9 per cent to 3.46 million in April compared with the same month a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said.

Domestic guest nights gained 5.5 per cent to 1.93 million while international guest nights rose 8.7 per cent to 1.54 million, the agency said.

Stats NZ noted that Easter fell in March last year, boosting the accommodation sector that month, however, the holiday was in April this year which strengthened that month's numbers compared to a year earlier.

The data shows guest nights rose 7 per cent in the North Island and 6.7 per cent in the South Island from the year earlier period, with all 12 regions of the country and all four accommodation types reporting more guest nights.

Short-term visitor arrivals rose 21 per cent in April, with a 26 per cent gain in arrivals from Australia.

Regionally, Otago saw the strongest gains, up 8.3 per cent from a year earlier to 545,000 guest nights in the month, while guest nights in Waikato rose 13 per cent to 309,000 and Bay of Plenty posted an 11 per cent rise to 346,000.

Holiday parks saw a 24 per cent jump in guest nights, to 690,000, while the most popular accommodation type was hotels, where guest nights rose 3 per cent to 1.2 million.

There were fewer domestic travellers staying in hotels and motels in the month, while more international travellers stayed in hotels, motels and holiday parks.

The latest trends appear to be relatively flat for those three types of accommodation, although backpackers have a rising trend, Stats NZ said.

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