Queenstown has hit record guest nights for the first quarter of 2015 with a total of 919,103 guest nights for the period January – March 2015, according to the Statistics New Zealand’s Commercial Accommodation Monitor (CAM) released today.
Following a year of compounding growth in visitor guest nights in 2014, the start of 2015 is continuing the trend with the first quarter up 4.8 percent over same period last year, representing a total growth in guest nights of 41,687.
The CAM for March 2015 reveals that total guest nights rose 7.5 percent on March 2014 to 288,611, an increase of 20,168 guest nights.
International guest nights for the month were up 13.1 percent to 205,063 however domestic guest nights declined, down 4% to 83,549.
For the year ended March 2015 total guest nights rose 8.7 percent to 3,085,058 over previous year, with both international and domestic guest nights increasing. The average length of stay rose from 2.63 nights to 2.72 nights for the 12 month period and total occupancy rose from 56.8 percent to 61.9 percent.
Destination Queenstown CEO Graham Budd said the record first quarter supported positive anecdotal reports from Queenstown operators.
“These results have confirmed our expectations that the summer season saw significantly increased international visitor numbers from our key markets, while domestic popularity for Queenstown is only slightly down against the prior year after several years of strong growth. Occupancy rates are well up and yield is also improving which is really positive for business profitability and re-investment.
“Not only have commercial accommodation properties benefited from visitor growth however, as the business benefits have been widespread and most operators have reported a very good summer. The latest Regional Tourism Indicator (RTI) figures also suggest an international expenditure increase of between 17% and 25% over these summer months which continues a really positive trend of being well ahead of volume growth for the same period,” says Mr Budd.
Queenstown now has a few weeks of high demand during summer when finding hoped for accommodation can be difficult.
“To avoid disappointment we do recommend that travel groups and independent visitors plan and book ahead over this period just as you would expect to do at any popular destination around the world,” says Mr Budd.