Hospitality Business Magazine

International visitors continue to arrive in droves


Tourists happy to pay more to visit New Zealand. Pictured: Auckland City

The world’s love affair with the Land of the Long White Cloud again peaked in 2016, with our trans-Tasman rivals and international travellers visiting New Zealand in droves, despite the fact they had to pay more to stay here.  According to the latest Hotel Price Index™ (HPI™) data from™, the average price paid per night for a hotel room by international holiday-makers at the top 20 New Zealand destinations increased by two percent  to $176 per night in 2016.

The rise comes off the back of another record-breaking year for tourism in New Zealand in 2016, with international visitors nearing numbers close to 3.5 million. Higher hotel rates certainly didn’t deter our westerly neighbours in 2016 as more than one million Aussies crossed the pond to visit New Zealand last year alone.

According to the data, the most popular destination for international travellers was Auckland, where visitors nabbed a room for an average price of $197 per night in 2016, up 9 percent on the previous year. Adventure activity hub Queenstown came in at second place ($273), with a year-on-year price rise of 13 percent, followed by Christchurch and Wellington in third and fourth most popular, with prices at an average of $161 and $175 per night, respectively.

Steep ascents up the mountains

International travellers threw down some serious cash per night in Queenstown, with rooms putting holiday-makers back a cool 13 percent  more on average per night, up from $241 in 2015, and marking the steepest increase of the top 20 destinations in 2016. Amongst the turquoise waters and mountainous drama of Lake Tekapo, international visitors paid $234 on average per night, while the third and fourth most expensive Enzed cities in the top 20 destinations was Auckland ($197) and Franz Joseph Glacier ($195).

Picton reported the steepest decline in price of the top 20 destinations, dropping 10 percent  to $140 per night in 2016. Christchurch also declined in the price paid per night by visiting guests – likely due to ongoing earthquake and rebuild issues – down five percent,  to $161 on average per night. Hamilton was the most affordable New Zealand destination among the top 20 analysed for international travellers where a hotel room cost on average $136 per night in 2016.