New Zealand

NZ hotels enjoy three-fold increase in guest nights

International accommodation guest nights increase by 43 percent in June

New-release data shows international visitors are returning to New Zealand at higher numbers than previously expected, are staying longer and spending more with accommodation guest nights in June increasing by 43 percent over the same period in 2021.

A total of 94,600 overseas visitors arrived across June 2022 representing a 30 percent increase from May 2022, and more than double when compared to international arrivals in June 2021.

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The Statistics New Zealand and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) data shows a strong uptick in international visitor numbers and overseas card spend, with June 2022 marking the highest number of international visitor arrivals since the border was closed in March 2020.

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Welcoming the news, Minister for Tourism,  Stuart Nash welcomed the news as a positive sign of the tourism sector’s recovery.

“Our tourism operators have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19 but the data today show that the recovery is well underway. International visitors are coming back at a strong pace, with American and British visitors’ card spends at 2019 levels,” the Minister said.

“What is also really positive to see is that visitors from the US and UK are staying longer and spending more than in pre-COVID times – despite visitor numbers being far less than 2019, the card spend is back to the same level.

“Hotels have also shown a three-fold increase in guest nights compared to April of this year. I know there is still a ways to go to get back to pre-COVID levels but these numbers show a strong growth in demand and represent a higher-than-anticipated winter tourism season.

Describing the recent return of the first cruise ship to New Zealand as another boost for local communities, the Minister said that pre-pandemic, visits by the vessels were worth in excess of $500 million a year of which $356 million was spent onshore.

The Minister said cruise numbers were expected to be similar to pre-COVID levels.

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