Holiday Parks Proving Popular with Kiwi Travellers

holiday parks booking up for peak times

New Zealand holiday parks are proving popular with Kiwi travellers, with many welcoming more visitors than at the same time last year.

“Holiday parks are bucking the trend that we are seeing across many other types of accommodation like hotels, motels and backpackers,” Holiday Parks New Zealand (HPNZ) Chief Executive Fergus Brown says.

Accommodation data programme results for August show that holiday parks recorded 358,700 guest nights, 11.1 percent or 35,700 up on August 2019. In comparison, hotel guest nights were down 47.2 percent, motels were down 30.9 percent and backpackers fell 53.4 percent.

“Holiday parks have always had a strong domestic base and these figures show that Kiwi travellers are keener than ever to enjoy a change of scene, even during winter. This is no doubt helped by some of the great deals that are available from campervan rental providers,” said Brown.

On a regional basis, Taupō, Taranaki, Nelson-Tasman, West Coast and Wanaka each recorded substantial increases in guest nights, compared to August 2019. Holiday parks across the country are busy over the school holidays but space is still available in most regions.

“There is a perception that the holiday parks are best in summer or for a camping trip,” said Brown.

“In fact, many now have high-grade built accommodation and offer all-weather activities to suit all kinds of travellers.”

An added benefit of staying in a holiday park is that continued support of commercial accommodation will save hundreds of jobs in the regions, especially in smaller towns with a large reliance on the visitor economy.

Those who intend to get away over the Christmas/New Year period should book early, especially if they want to stay in the traditional New Zealand summer hotspots.

“We are already seeing strong demand for the peak holiday period, so we recommend that holidaymakers contact their preferred parks as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

“You can stay at a holiday park for a really competitive price, enjoy a well-deserved break, and feel good about supporting local businesses and jobs at the same time.

“If we can return a portion of what we would usually spend internationally to our local businesses this year, we’ll all be in a far better position coming out of the crisis," said Brown.

Accommodation Data Programme guest night measures, August 2020

NB August 2020 statistics are drawn from the ADP, while the August 2019 results were recorded by the Accommodation Survey which ceased in November 2019.

NZ Guest Nights August (000) Hotels Motels Backpackers Holiday parks Total
2019 1,111.0 870.0 313.0 323.0 2770.8
2020 586.5 601.6 146.0 358.7 1700.0
Actual Change -524.5 -268.4 -167.0 35.7 -1070.8
% Change -47.2% -30.9% -53.4% 11.1% -38.6%

Holiday Park guest nights – North Island

Guest Nights August (000) Northland Coromandel Rotorua Taupō Taranaki
2019 30.0 22.0 18.7 11.9 5.8
2020 29.0 12.4 7.4 23.5 7.8
Actual Change -1.0 -9.6 -11.3 11.6 2.0
% Change -3.3% -43.6% -60.4% 97.5% 34.5%

Holiday Park guest nights – South Island

NB Queenstown figures are not available due to sample size

Guest Nights August (000) Marlborough Nelson-Tasman West Coast Canterbury Wanaka
2019 10.3 18.2 15.0 43.2 16.6
2020 7.6 26.3 17.4 21.5 20.1
Actual Change -2.7 8.1 2.4 -21.7 3.5
% Change -26.2% 44.5% 16.0% -50.2% 21.1%