Auckland visitor numbers plunge 8pc in new stats (from NZ HERALD)
A 14 per cent fall in international visitors staying in Auckland has pushed total guest nights across New Zealand down one per cent for May.
A rise in overseas visitors staying in Canterbury and Otago helped limit the fall in nationwide guests nights in May to 1 per cent, compared to a year earlier.
Figures released by Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) today domestic visitors staying in Auckland accommodation were also down, but by a lesser 3 per cent.
The 2 million guest nights in short-term commercial accommodation in May, while down on a year earlier, were up 4 per cent from May 2007, SNZ said.
Despite the overall fall, the 800,000 guest nights in the South Island in May were 2 per cent higher than a year earlier.
International guest nights accounted for 46 per cent of the South Island total at 366,000, up 16,000 or 5 per cent from May 2008.
In Canterbury international guest nights rose 8000 or 6 per cent, while in Otago they were up 8000 or 7 per cent
A fall of 34,000 guest nights in Auckland, a change of 8 per cent, skewed the overall results, with the nationwide fall in May being just 13,000 from a year earlier.
International guest nights in Auckland fell 27,000 or 14 per cent, while domestic guest nights were down 8000 or 3 per cent.
Of 12 regions, eight recorded more guest nights in May than a year earlier, with the West Coast up 7000 or 10 per cent, Taranaki/Manawatu-Wanganui up 4000 or 4 per cent, and Wellington up 4000 or 2 per cent, SNZ said.
While the trend for total guest nights appeared to have been increasing in 2009, after falling in 2008, more data was needed for the direction of the trend to be confirmed.
Hotels recorded 18,000 or 2 per cent fewer guest nights in May than a year earlier, while caravan parks/camping grounds recorded a rise of 13,000 or 5 per cent.