Domestic guest nights up 7.2% over winter

Domestic guest nights in Queenstown were up 7.2% during the winter quarter, along with a "small recovery" in international guest nights, up 1.7%, against 2011, Statistics New Zealand's Commercial Accommodation Monitor figures show.

The September figures completed the picture for the resort's winter season, which showed in September Queenstown guest nights were up 3.2% to 184,306 compared with the corresponding month last year.

Nationally, overall guest nights were down 2.3% as the comparative effects of the 2011 Rugby World Cup were felt.

Between July and September there was an increase of 3.5%, to a total of 694,314 guest nights in the resort, along with an overall occupancy increase of 3.7 points to 55.47%.

Hotel occupancy grew from 60% to 69%.

Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd said that the result was pleasing.

"Domestic visitors continue to show excellent growth across all seasons while international visitor numbers, mostly Australians during winter, have shown a modest recovery against the difficult year in 2011.

"Improving air services and capacity growth over the past few years have also now made Queenstown very accessible to both first-time and returning Kiwi visitors."