New Zealand: Backpackers part of South Island accommodation growth
Growth in international visitors helped New Zealands South Island hotels, motels and other accommodation providers show improved guest nights in June, up from the same month a year earlier.
However, on a seasonally adjusted basis the number of guests at hotel, motels, backpackers and holiday parks fell 3.2% in June from the prior month, following a rise in May.
Christchurch is seeing a continued recovery in international visitation following a slump following the 2011 earthquakes. New accommodation is coming on stream to match that demand.
Statistics New Zealand figures show total national guest nights were up 3.1% in June 2015 from the year earlier month.
“Most of the rise for June was from international guest nights,” business indicators manager Neil Kelly said. “This increase was spread across both main islands.”
For June 2015, compared with June 2014, South Island guest nights were up 3.8%.
North Island guest nights were up 2.7%, the figures released on Wednesday showed.
Domestic guest nights were up 0.6%, and international guest nights were up 8.0%.
Ten of the country’s 12 regional areas had more guest nights. Both Canterbury and Otago both showed strong growth according to graphs released by the agency.
For the year ended June 2015, national guest nights were up 5.3% from the June 2014 year.
The trend for national guest nights continued to rise in June. However, seasonally adjusted guest nights fell 3.2% in June, following a rise in May.
Nationally hotel guest nights were up 3.2% in June from the same month a year earlier. Motel guest nights were up 3.6%, backpacker guest nights were up 4.5% but holiday park guest nights were down 0.2%.
Nationally backpacker guest nights have been on the rise since 2012.
Christchurch lost a significant number of backpackers in the 2011 earthquakes, and new operations have been slow to return.
There is a new All Stars Inn planned for Bealey Ave, near the central city for November 1 with some backpacker space within 79 new rooms able to accommodate up to 300.