Visitor nights in Otago are up
almost 6%, despite declining numbers in Clutha, Central Otago
Throughout the region there were 273,504 more visitor nights
recorded in the year ended November 2013 than during the
previous 12 months.
Growth in Waitaki, Queenstown and Dunedin helped push the
total figure to 4.9 million - up from 4.6 million.
Queenstown had the most visitor nights (2.7 million),
followed by Dunedin (814,665).
Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton said the
overall growth in visitor nights supported the notion that
consumer confidence, and in turn tourism, was increasing.
Mr Saxton said visitor nights data, from the Ministry of
Business, Innovation and Employment's commercial
accommodation monitor (Cam), was a good indication of the
It did not, however, take into account hosted and private
accommodation and could not determine the number of people
visiting, only the occupancy rates of co-operating
''Cam is a barometer and therefore can only be best used as
an indication of the trading environment,'' Mr Saxton said.
Dunedin was profiting from the strong cruise sector, a
recovery in domestic visitor numbers, steadily increasing
international visitors and interest in the city as a business
A 2011 survey showed Dunedin had about 878 hotel rooms, 829
motel units, 105 backpacker rooms and 126 holiday park units.
In the year ended December 2013, the city had an occupancy
rate (excluding holiday parks) of 60.3%.
Mr Saxton said Dunedin-specific data for the year ended
November 2013 was positive and showed signs of improvement.
Large events, including the international mammalogy
conference in Dunedin in December, made a huge difference to
the city's visitor economy and highlighted the importance of
having suitable infrastructure such as the Dunedin Centre, he
Dunedin's domestic visitor nights were up 3.8% to 509,806,
and international visitor nights up 0.1% to 304,858. The city
hosted 1276 events and had 2.5% of the national market for
commercial visitor nights. Queenstown had 8.5%.
Nationally, visitor arrivals increased by 5.3% to 2.7
Of all international visitors to the South Island, 85%
arrived through Christchurch International Airport.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment forecast
visitor numbers and spending to reach new highs by 2019.
International visitor expenditure for the year ended
September 2013 was $6.5 billion.
The average visitor spent $145 a day, and $2750 per trip.