be-nz logo
Story image

NZ guest nights jump to a record in September on rise in international travellers

New Zealand guest nights rose 1.1 percent to a record for a September month, driven by a rebound in international traveller numbers following a decline the previous month.

Seasonally adjusted guest nights increased to 2.9 million in September, from 2.87 million in August and 2.73 million in the same month a year earlier, according to Statistics New Zealand. The latest figures surpass the previous record for a September month in 2007.

International guests nights rebounded 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted 1.145 million in September, following a 2.1 percent decline in August, the agency said. Meanwhile, domestic guest nights edged up 0.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted 1.752 million, matching August's 0.5 percent gain.

September recorded the month's second-highest level for international visitor arrivals, eclipsed only by September 2011 during the Rugby World Cup, according to government figures released last month. Short-term international visitor arrivals rose 1 percent to 193,000 from the same month a year earlier, driven by more tourists from the US and Australia. Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, recorded the highest level of guest nights for September, followed by the Otago region which includes the popular tourist Queenstown-Lakes area.

Today's data shows total capacity in short-term accommodation fell 0.6 percent in September, compared with the year earlier month, while the occupancy rate, excluding holiday parks, increased 2.5 percentage points to 48.4 percent.

On an unadjusted basis, guest nights rose 6.2 percent in September from the year earlier, with 11 of the 12 regions recording increases.