Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Guest nights Up In March

The latest accommodation survey results for March have been released today by Statistics New Zealand.

For many operators that have traded through April and are now going into the winter months, these stats may only be of cursory interest. 

Overall, total guest nights in March 2010 were up 2 percent compared with March 2009. With the first three months of the year all recording increases in guest nights, this is great news for operators that can hunker down for the traditionally quieter winter months with some optimism. 

The South Island continues to out perform the North Island by achieving a 4 percent gain in guest nights, compared to the North Island's 1 percent increase. 

Nine of the 12 regions recorded more guest nights in March 2010 than in March 2009. The regions showing the largest increases were:
  • Otago, up 7 percent
  • Bay of Plenty, up 7 percent
  • Canterbury, 2 percent.
The regions showing decreases were:
  • Hawke's Bay/Gisborne, 4 percent
  • Wellington, down 1 percent.
International visitor guest nights in March 2010 increased by 3 percent compared with March 2009. 

Domestic guest nights improved upon last month's 3 percent decline with a 2 percent increase in March 2010 compared with March 2009.

In March 2010, three of the four accommodation types had more guest nights than in March 2009: 
  • Hotels, up 5 percent
  • Holiday parks, up 3 percent
  • Motels, up 1 percent. 
Backpackers had the only decrease in guest nights, down 1 percent. 

In March 2010, hotels had the largest share of total guest nights (34 percent), followed by motels (32 percent).

Excluding holiday parks, the occupancy rate in March 2010 was 60 percent, compared with 5 percent in March 2009. 

The motel sector can be cautiously optimistic by the gain in overall guest nights, in particular the rebound of domestic guest nights. "Just one last tough winter" appears to be the tourism industry's catch-phrase at the moment... 

While many motel operators will be focusing on getting through over the cooler months, there is a burning question that remains unaddressed. The hotel sector continues to take market share from the motel sector - Why is that? 

Source: HERE

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