Kiwis stay home during World Cup - accommodation numbers fall

International Rugby World Cup visitors like these French tourists weren't enough to keep accommodation numbers in October from falling. Photo / Richard Robinson.
International Rugby World Cup visitors like these French tourists weren't enough to keep accommodation numbers in October from falling. Photo / Richard Robinson.

New Zealanders staying at home in October meant the anticipated Rugby World Cup bonanza never happened for the accommodation sector, according to new statistics released this morning.

Statistics NZ said that guest nights for international visitors rose 7.1 per cent in October, but this was offset by a 6.5 per cent fall in domestic guest nights.

This meant there was an overall fall of 1.5 per cent in total guest nights during October when compared with the same month last year.

"The Rugby World Cup lifted international guest nights in October, particularly in the North Island," industry and labour statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said. "However, domestic guest nights were
down in nearly every region. This continues what was seen in September 2011, with increasing international and decreasing domestic guest nights."

International guest nights were higher in nine of the 12 regions in October, when compared with the same month last year, particularly in Auckland, Wellington, and Waikato.

With 13 of the 15 World Cup games in October being held in the North Island, this half of the country saw a 24 per cent rise in international guest nights.

New Zealanders stayed at home during the month however, with domestic guest nights down in nearly every region, except in Nelson/Marlborough/Tasman and Otago.

Statistics NZ said this decrease in domestic guest nights occurred despite one week of the school holidays being shifted to October from September, to align with the final stages of the Rugby World Cup.

Canterbury continued to show the largest regional fall in guest nights. To put this in context, the combined increases for Auckland, Nelson/Marlborough/Tasman, and Wellington (which had the largest increases of all regions) were more than offset by the fall in Canterbury.

Christchurch, in particular, lost much accommodation capacity because of the earthquakes. There were no World Cup games played in Christchurch due to its main stadium being damaged.

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