The number of people staying in Kaikoura plummeted by 80 per cent after the devastating earthquake in November, new data shows.

Statistics New Zealand's latest accommodation survey said guest nights had fallen dramatically in the tourist town in December compared to the previous year.

The available accommodation in Kaikoura had halved after the Magnitude 7.8 quake on November 14, and guest nights fell by 80 per cent.

The fall in Kaikoura went against a national trend. Canterbury was the only region out of 12 in which guest nights fell.


Overall, guest nights rose by 3.4 per cent compared to the previous December, driven by high numbers of international arrivals.

Kaikoura was hit hardest by the quake, and main highway access was cut off by landslips north and south of the town.

The Government announced a relief package for the tourism sector last week worth $870,000 which aimed to bring in more overseas tourists next summer.

Of that total, $650,000 will go towards marketing the region and $150,000 will encourage New Zealanders to keep visiting the Marlborough region, which was also badly affected by the closure of State Highway 1.