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World's fastest rising hotel rates found in New Zealand: survey

03-14-2012 15:10 BJT

New Zealand hotel rates rose faster than those of any other country in the world last year, due to shortages caused by the Rugby World Cup and the Canterbury earthquakes, according to an industry survey on Tuesday.

Average hotel rates in New Zealand rose 13 percent last year to 132 NZ dollars (108 U.S. dollars) a night, according to the Hotel Price Index of actual prices paid released by Internet booking company Hotels.com.

The rise was well above the global average of 4 percent, said a statement from Hotels.com.

"The strength of the New Zealand currency, the influx of visitors for the Rugby World Cup and the tragic Christchurch earthquake resulted with reduced supply and significantly inflated hotel prices across the country last year," Johan Svanstrom, vice president and managing director, Asia Pacific, said in the statement.

"Of the nine domestic destinations surveyed, only two experienced price falls," said Svanstrom.

Prices were expected to stabilize this year, but the positive impact of the Rugby World Cup, hosted by New Zealand in September and October last year, on inbound tourism has given the country a sense of optimism as Christchurch continued to rebuild.

Hotel prices in Christchurch increased 32 percent to 130 NZ dollars a night, in Auckland by 9 percent to 132 NZ dollars, and in the capital Wellington by 15 percent to 126 NZ dollars.

But the most expensive location was the central North Island lakeside tourist resort of Taupo, averaging 158 NZ dollars per night, despite the fact that hotel rates there fell by 4 percent last year.

However, while staying in New Zealand was more expensive last year, hotel prices for New Zealand travelers were down in Asia, the United States and Europe, thanks to the strong New Zealand dollar, said the statement.

Average room rates for New Zealand travelers in Shanghai fell by 26 percent to 140 NZ dollars a night, in Tokyo by 9 percent to 178 NZ dollars and in Bangkok by 8 percent to 109 NZ dollars.

On Monday, the government statistics agency released figures showing New Zealand's commercial accommodation providers are failing to see the benefits of a record numbers of overseas travelers.

Short-term overseas visitor arrivals hit 266,800 in January, a record for a January month and almost 1 percent up from the previous high of 265,600 in January 2011, according to the Accommodation Survey by Statistics New Zealand.

However, international visitors spent 1.6 million guest nights in New Zealand in January, down 7.1 percent from January 2011, and down 8.9 percent from January 2010, according to the survey.

The survey noted that the fall in international guest nights was greater in the South Island (down 11 percent from January 2011) , where visitor numbers had been declining since the earthquakes began striking the Canterbury region in September 2010, than in the North Island (down 2.7 percent).

Editor:Sun Luying |Source: Xinhua

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