Guest nights stay steady

Guest nights in Queenstown in November 2012 were on a par with the same month in 2011, Statistics New Zealand says.

Total visitor nights were slightly down at 0.8%, or 1624 nights, to 192,353, compared with November 2011, according to the latest commercial accommodation monitor released last week.

International guest nights were up 5.4% to 132,505, accounting for 68.9% of all guest nights in the Queenstown regional tourism organisation area, while domestic guest nights were down 12.3% to 59,848 for the same period.

Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd said on Friday the result showed a possible return to a more usual mix for November.

''Most pleasing was the growth in international guest nights, which continues Queenstown's slow but steady recovery in international numbers,'' Mr Budd said.

''Historically, international guest nights have comprised about 75% of the November mix.

''In 2011 it was only 65%, but has bounced back this time to 69%.

''The domestic decline is not too surprising. In November 2011 there was a huge 37% spike compared to November 2010, so these figures have returned to be closer to what we would usually expect around this time.''

Queenstown Airport considered November 2012 to be a slower month. However, there were still 89,370 passengers moving through the airport, which equated to an increase of 18.3% for the month over the same period last year.

Domestic passenger numbers were up to 77,176, an 18.4% increase compared with November 2011.

International passengers were also up, with an increase of 17.5% over November 2011.

The airport corporation said the increase in passengers was due to the increased number of flights. There were 32 more flights in November than in November 2011.

Additions to the Air New Zealand schedule accounted for most of the extra flights.