By Sophie Boot
Sept. 12 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand guest nights were flat in July as international visitor numbers fell from last
year's peak during the Lions rugby tour, Statistics New Zealand said.
Total guest nights rose to 2.7 million, up 0.1 percent from July last year, Stats NZ said. A 3.4 percent decline in
international guest nights to 989,000 led the decline, the agency said, though that was just offset by a 2.4 percent
rise in domestic guest nights to 1.7 million
In July 2016, international guest nights surged 16 percent to more than one million, a record for that month, on an
increase in holidaymakers from China, Australia and the US. July 2017 maintained those strong numbers due to a large
number of overseas visitors from the UK and Ireland here for the British and Irish Lions rugby tour.
"This July’s decrease in international guest nights follows July peaks in both 2017 and 2016. The increase in July 2017
had coincided with the tail end of the Lions tour,” accommodation statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said.
Total guest nights in the North Island dipped 0.7 percent to 1.6 million in July, while South Island stays rose 1.5
percent to 1.1 million.
Motels and holiday parks both registered an increase in stays during the month, up 2.6 percent to 933,000 and 3.2
percent to 347,000 respectively, while backpacker nights dropped 7.6 percent to 305,000. Hotel nights fell 0.5 percent,
but remained the most popular choice with 1.1 million guest nights. The data doesn't include private accommodation.
The occupancy rate across accommodation types weakened to 36.9 percent in July from 37.2 percent a year earlier.
In the year to the end of July, 39.9 million guest nights were spent in short-term commercial accommodation, up 2.3
percent from the previous year. International guest nights rose 3.5 percent to 17.5 million in the year, while domestic
guest nights increased 1.4 percent to 22.4 million.