10 June 2016: International visitors help fill hotels and motels

International guest nights in April were up 13.4 percent compared with the same month last year, more than offsetting a drop in domestic guest nights that was due to the timing of Easter.

Total guest nights for April 2016 were 3.7 percent higher than in April 2015, Statistics New Zealand said today.

"Total guest nights for April were up even though the Easter holidays were in March this year," business indicators senior manager Neil Kelly said. "Last year they were in April."

For April 2016, compared with April 2015:
• Domestic guest nights were down 2.7 percent, while international guest nights were up 13.4 percent.
• North Island guest nights were up 2.3 percent, and South Island guest nights were up 5.7 percent.
• Eight of the 12 regional areas had more guest nights.
• Three of the four accommodation types had more guest nights.

With rising guest numbers and little change in accommodation capacity, hotel occupancy rates peaked at a record 80.3 percent in February this year, before easing to 71.9 percent in April. Similarly, motel occupancy peaked at 75.3 percent in February, easing to 61.7 percent in April. Occupancy rates usually peak in summer and trough in winter.

For the year ended April 2016, national guest nights were up 5.7 percent from the April 2015 year.

The trend for national guest nights continued to rise in April. Seasonally adjusted guest nights fell 7.1 percent, following a 5.1 percent rise in March.

The Accommodation Survey collects data for guests staying in hotels, motels, backpacker accommodation, and holiday parks in New Zealand each month. Private accommodation is excluded.

See Accommodation Survey: April 2016 for more information on monthly accommodation statistics.

See International Travel and Migration: April 2016 for visitor numbers.