Tough times for camping grounds

The continuing economic climate and difficult trading times for Queenstown District Council-owned camping grounds could continue into the next financial year, holiday park manager Greg Hartshorne says.

In a report to be discussed at the council's finance and corporate committee meeting tomorrow, Mr Hartshorne said he believes the Christchurch earthquake is still affecting Queenstown.

''The domestic market, especially Canterbury, Otago and Southland, that we have come to rely on at this time of the year really failed to materialise ... I believe the fallout after the Christchurch earthquake still plays a major part."

Revenue for the first quarter of 2012-13 is down about 7.2% across all park's incomes.

He attributed the ''average'' ski season in part to the ''huge discounting'' across the market, with people taking advantage of accommodation such as self-catering apartments.

''The outlook for the coming months is still quite confusing with bookings strong some weeks and lacking in others."

The Statistics New Zealand 2012 Accommodation Survey found the number of guest nights nationally has been declining since December 2009.

For August 2012, hotel guest nights have increased at the expense of other accommodation types.