First-quarter visitor record

Queenstown drew a record number of visitors in the first three months of 2014, Statistics New Zealand's Commercial Accommodation Monitor (CAM) reveals.

A total of 877,416 guest nights were recorded for January-March this year, following on from the resort's record year in 2013. Commercial guest nights are defined as one guest staying for one night.

Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd said feedback from members had indicated a ''strong'' start to 2014.

He added it ''certainly felt busy and vibrant on the streets of Queenstown and around the region''.

''It's very pleasing to see the positive growth of 2013 continuing in 2014. The March result is particularly pleasing given that the Easter holiday fell during March in 2013 but not until mid-April this year.''

The CAM for March 2014 shows guest nights rose 5.2% on March 2013 to 268,443 - an increase of 13,305 - and the average length of stay increased from 2.27 nights to 2.56.

International guest nights for March 2014 were up 7.3% to 181,389 and domestic nights also showed growth, up 1.2% to 87,054.

For the year ending March 2014 guest nights rose 9%, compared with the previous 12-month period, to 2,837,396 and the length of stay increased from 2.52 nights to 2.63.

Mr Budd said the length-of-stay increase is in line with Destination Queenstown's strategy of attracting longer staying visitors.