Susan Strongman

Broadcasting reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Visitor growth helps drive hotel rates up 7pc

The Hilton Hotel in Queenstown. Photo / APN
The Hilton Hotel in Queenstown. Photo / APN

The cost of a night away from home is on the rise.

A new survey shows average nightly hotel rates in New Zealand have increased by 7 per cent. A stay in a hotel room at Lake Tekapo topped the list of the most expensive Kiwi destinations at an average of $208 a night.

The numbers, which come from accommodation booking website Hotels.com, show the average hotel price increased to $157 per night in the first six months of 2014 compared with the same period last year.

Tourism Industry Association hotels sector manager Sally Attfield said the figures back up what the association was hearing from its members.

"Increasing visitor numbers and the resulting higher demand for accommodation are resulting in good business for hoteliers and we are also seeing a number of hotel developments around the country, indicating investor confidence."

New Plymouth, the hub of New Zealand's oil and gas industry, saw the biggest rise in price, of 13 per cent to $140, while Auckland and Wellington's hotel prices increased by 4 and 7 per cent respectively to $148 a night.

In the first half of this year, the number of tourists entering the country was up 5.5 per cent from just over 1.3 million in the same period last year - an increase of 72,000 visitors, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Worldwide, the average increase in hotel prices was 4 per cent, and 98 per cent of New Zealand places included in the Hotels.com list saw an increase in price, with the exception of Hamilton which saw a 1 per cent decrease and Invercargill which saw a 7 per cent decrease.

Hotels.com's Abhiram Chowdhry said New Zealand's tourism industry had gone from strength to strength.

"The continued interest of the Chinese to travel to New Zealand further helps the market. In a recent survey amongst Chinese travellers we found that the country was nearly on top of the wish list for where the Chinese would like to travel," he said.

- NZ Herald

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