Guest nights in March 2017 dropped 3.1 percent compared with last year, as Easter moved from March last year to April this year, according to Stats NZ. The Easter effect was most noticeable in domestic guest nights, which decreased 5.6 percent compared with the same month last year. This followed decreases in domestic guest nights in four of the last six months compared with the same month last year.

For the first time since October 2013, international guest nights did not increase from the same month of the previous year. The trend for international guest nights is decreasing.

“The decline in total guest nights was particularly noticeable for holiday parks,” business indicators senior manager Neil Kelly said. “Moving Easter holidays combined with relatively poor weather saw holiday park guest nights decrease 16 percent compared with last March.”

Falls in South Island and Canterbury guest nights were affected by ongoing impacts from the Kaikoura earthquakes. Guest nights in Kaikoura were 52 percent lower than in March 2016. Private accommodation is excluded from the Accommodation survey.