WELLINGTON, July 12 (Xinhua) -- For the sixth consecutive month, international guests spent fewer nights in hotels, motels, backpackers, and holiday parks compared with the same month a year ago, New Zealand's statistics department Stats NZ said on Friday.
"In May 2019, international guest nights were down 7.4 percent, falling for the sixth month in a row," accommodation statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said in a statement.
"This may indicate that international guests are choosing hosted or other accommodation not captured in the accommodation survey," McKenzie said.
May is typically one of the quieter months for commercial accommodation, with little more than half the guest nights seen in summer months, she said, adding Kiwis staying in holiday parks and hotels in May helped keep total guest nights up despite the drop in international guests.
In May 2019, total guest nights rose 0.9 percent as Kiwis spent 6.6 percent more nights in commercial accommodation than the same month last year. This increase offset the fall in overseas guest nights, McKenzie said.
In the year ending May 2019, total guest nights rose 1.1 percent to 40.38 million from the May 2018 year, which was the lowest annual guest night growth for almost six years, apart from a 0.6-percent rise in the year ending March 2019, statistics showed.
The accommodation survey collects data for guests staying in short-term commercial accommodation such as hotels, motels, backpackers, and holiday parks. Hosted and private accommodation, such as bed and breakfasts and holiday homes, are excluded.