Over the past five years, guest nights in May have steadily increased. This year made no change to that pattern, with Stats NZ reporting that commercial accommodation in May 2018 is up 1.6 percent from May 2018.

The May increase was led by domestic guest nights spent all across the country, as well as international guest nights in the South Island. The North Island saw a decrease in international guest nights for the month, but the two other increases offset the fall.

An early starting ski season in the South Island is likely to have had a positive effect in the increase of South Island international guests. Snow started coating Coronet Peak and other Queenstown ski fields towards the end of May.

“This month’s increase builds on the stronger guest night growth we saw last May, when it rose 7.3 percent from May 2016,” accommodation statistics manager at Stats NZ, Melissa McKenzie said.

Every month this year excluding April has seen guest nights rise from 2017, showing that the accommodation sector in New Zealand is still growing at a healthy rate.

“May is typically one of the quieter months for accommodation providers, as we head into cooler months. This contrasts with the summer peak when nearly twice as many guest nights are spent in commercial accommodation.”