Overnight stays in commercial accommodation were up 4 percent in December 2009 compared with the previous December, Statistics New Zealand said today.
"This increase is largely due to 7 percent more international guest nights," said Tehseen Islam, accommodation survey manager. "Domestic guest nights were up 3 percent."
All four accommodation types had more guest nights in December 2009 with hotels showing the largest increase.
Eleven of the 12 regions recorded more guest nights in December 2009 than in the previous December.
Otago, Canterbury, and Bay of Plenty had the largest increases while Hawke's Bay/Gisborne was the only region with fewer guest nights over the same period.
Despite the increase in December, guest nights for 2009 were still down 1 percent compared with 2008.
The fall was largely due to a 3 percent drop in international guest nights last year, although domestic guest nights were also down slightly.
"Most of the drop in guest nights in 2009 occurred in the first half of the year," added Tehseen Islam, "while most months in the second half of the year have shown increases in guest nights."
Amongst the regions, Auckland and Bay of Plenty had the largest falls in guest nights, while Otago and Waikato were the only regions with more guest nights in 2009.
The drop in guest nights in Auckland and Bay of Plenty were both largely due to those regions having fewer international guest nights than the year before. Otago's increase in guest nights in 2009 was largely due to more domestic guest nights.
Three of the four accommodation types in the survey had fewer guest nights in 2009 than the previous year. Motels had the largest decrease, followed by hotels and holiday parks. Backpackers had the only increase.
The Accommodation Survey records guests staying in hotels, motels, backpackers, and holiday parks in New Zealand each month.