Whanganui accommodation providers benefited from an extra 2000 overnight visits in December 2015 compared with the same period the previous year.

There were 171,000 overnight bookings during December - up 1.5 per cent on the same month the year before, according to a survey by Statistics New Zealand.

The survey records the number of people staying in hotels, motels, holiday parks and backpackers each month.

Whanganui Seaside Holiday Park owner of two years Ryan Papple is not surprised by the figures as people had been singing the praises of Whanganui.

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"Word of mouth is the biggest form of advertising for our site and, when people book for one night, they realise there's a lot more on offer and end up staying longer with us."

Nationwide, guest nights spent in short-term commercial accommodation were up 6.2 per cent in December 2015, compared with December 2014. This is the 21st consecutive month of rises.

Both the North and South islands had more guest nights in December 2015 than in December 2014.

Domestic and international guest nights were also higher, as were guest nights for all four accommodation types.

For December 2015, compared with December 2014, North Island guest nights were up 5.1 per cent, and South Island guest nights were up 7.6 per cent.

Domestic guest nights were up 6.3 per cent, and international guest nights were up 6 per cent.