Easter boosts guest nights in April

The timing of the Easter holiday led to a 5.1 percent increase in guest nights spent in hotels, motels, backpackers, and holiday parks in April 2019 compared with April 2018, Stats NZ said today.

“Easter falling in April this year meant that guest nights in most regions were higher than in April 2018,” accommodation statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said.

“Last year, Easter started at the end of March.”

(Good Friday was 19 April in 2019, 30 March in 2018, and 14 April in 2017.)

The timing of Easter also impacted on March 2019 results. See March guest nights lack last Easter’s lift.

April 2019 guest nights were 4.1 percent higher than two years ago in April 2017, which also included all of the Easter holiday.

Guest nights 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Jan 4565950 4843891 4899455 4969120 4967720
Feb 3704638 3965513 3949127 4030944 4015374
Mar 3551985 3987842 3866041 4176455 4008009
Apr 3124021 3239579 3462094 3430091 3604648
May 2338377 2329676 2500827 2541156
Jun 1933195 2163171 2309165 2267738
Jul 2467016 2636046 2673433 2677385
Aug 2300740 2449012 2440597 2524181
Sep 2475619 2633664 2669511 2747884
Oct 2833487 3004062 3146797 3268352
Nov 3106997 3265113 3405683 3535107
Dec 3851869 3983330 4141700 4198568

“Kiwis spent more nights in commercial accommodation in April, while international guest nights were down,” Ms McKenzie said.

Domestic guest nights rose 14 percent in April 2019 compared with April 2018, while international guest nights fell 5.6 percent. This coincides with a drop in the number of visitors from China. Fall in visitor arrivals from China in April has more information.

West Coast guest nights dampened

Guest nights were up in nine of the twelve regions in April 2019, compared with April 2018. The West Coast region was affected by a highway closure for almost two weeks in April, following flooding in late March. West Coast guest nights in April 2019 were 12 percent lower than in April 2018, despite the change in Easter holiday timing.

Otago and Southland also had small falls in guest nights compared to a year ago. In contrast, all North Island regions experienced an increase compared with April 2018.

Region 2017 2018 2019
Northland 168000 154000 180000
Auckland 645000 598000 616000
Waikato 309000 287000 319000
Bay of Plenty 346000 332000 372000
Hawke’s Bay 142000 126000 141000
“Taranaki 162000 159000 175000
Manawatu 265000 272000 287000
Wanganui” 192000 184000 198000
Wellington 131000 133000 117000
“Nelson 443000 507000 525000
Marlborough 545000 558000 556000
Tasman” 114000 121000 119000
West Coast
Canterbury
Otago
Southland

The accommodation survey collects data for guests staying in short-term commercial accommodation such as hotels, motels, backpackers, and holiday parks. Hosted and private accommodation, such as bed and breakfasts, and holiday homes, are excluded.

/Stats NZ Public Release. View in full here.