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NZ guest nights hit fresh record in July

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/09/2016 Sophie Boot

New Zealand guest nights rose in July to a record for the month as soaring tourist numbers saw all-time highs in domestic and international stays across the country and all accommodation types.

National guest nights advanced 6.9 per cent to 2.6 million in July from the same month a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said.

The biggest jump came from international guest nights, up 16 per cent, while domestic guest nights rose 2 per cent.

The increase in accommodation numbers comes as New Zealand tourism booms with overseas visitor arrivals for July rising 14 per cent to 237,900, a record for the month.

That gain was largely driven by a surge in holidaymakers from China, Australia and the US, while annual visitor numbers through July rose 11 per cent to a record 3.34 million.

Guest nights spent in the South Island increased 6 per cent to just over 1 million in July, while North Island guest nights advanced 7.4 per cent to 1.6 million.

Eleven of the country's 12 regional areas reported more guest nights. Northland led the increases with guest nights up 23 per cent to 92,000, followed by Hawke's Bay which gained 22 per cent to 86,000 and Nelson up 14 per cent to 107,000.

Auckland was the most popular region recording 561,000 guest nights in the month.

Guest nights and occupancy rates increased for hotels, motels, backpackers, and holiday parks, with holiday park guest nights up 14 per cent while hotel guest nights rose 7.8 per cent compared to last July.

Hotel occupancy rates rose 3.8 per centage points from the previous year to 62.4 per cent.

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