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Foreign guests checking out of New Zealand sooner

02-10-2012 13:25 BJT

WELLINGTON, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Overseas visitors are staying for shorter periods in New Zealand despite arriving in record numbers, according to the government statistics agency.

The total number of guest nights in hotels, motels, holiday parks and backpacker accommodation rose by 1.4 percent year on year to 3.2 million in December last year, Statistics New Zealand announced Friday.

However, the figure of 32 million for the whole of last year was 0.7 percent down on 2010, according to the agency's Accommodation Survey.

"In December, the North Island had more visitors from both overseas and within New Zealand, while the South Island had more Kiwi visitors compared with December 2010," Statistics New Zealand industry and labor statistics manager Louise Holmes-Oliver said in a statement.

"The number of international visitors to the South Island continues to be lower month on month since the Canterbury earthquakes began in September 2010."

The annual fall in guest nights was largely due to fewer people spending nights in Canterbury, which saw almost 1 million fewer guest nights last year, offsetting the combined rises in Wellington, the capital, Auckland, the country's biggest city and business center and the North Island's Waikato region.

International visitors in December 2011 contributed 42 percent of total guest nights, down from 43 percent in December 2010, according to the survey.

Overseas visitors stayed almost 13 million nights in commercial accommodation last year, down 3.2 percent from 2010.

September and October 2011 were the only months in which international guest nights rose compared with the same months the previous year, mainly because of the Rugby World Cup, which attracted 133,200 overseas visitors between July and October.

However, short-term overseas visitor arrivals to New Zealand numbered 364,200 in December, the highest recorded for any month, said the survey commentary.

December arrivals were up 5 percent from the previous high of 345,700 in December 2010.

Last year, New Zealand saw 2.601 million visitor arrivals, up 3 percent from the previous year, making 2011 the first year that annual visitor numbers passed 2.6 million.

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: Xinhua

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