Chinese New Year bolsters New Zealand accommodation sector
An influx of visitors from China helped bolster New Zealand's accommodation sector in January, as New Zealanders headed overseas for the holidays.
Total guest nights in commercial accommodation had a modest rise of 1.1 percent year on year in January, the government statistics agency said Monday.
Nights spent by overseas guests were up 6.9 percent to a record 2 million, offsetting a 2.7-percent drop in domestic guest nights, according to Statistics New Zealand.
"The decline in domestic guest nights this January coincided with greater numbers of Kiwis traveling overseas for their holidays," business indicators senior manager Neil Kelly said in a statement.
Figures from the agency last month showed overseas visitor arrivals in January were up 11 percent year on year, hitting a new January record of 381,100.
The strong increase had coincided with the Chinese New Year, with Chinese visitor arrivals up 32.4 percent to more than 54,000.
In the January year, Chinese visitor numbers were 13.8 percent up to 422,256, keeping China's rank as New Zealand's second biggest visitor market after Australia.