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Accommodation Data Programme for December 2021 released

February 11, 2022

The Accommodation Data Programme (ADP) provides information about short-term accommodation activity at national, regional, and lower levels. The ADP estimates the guest nights, occupancy rates and other measures relating to the core tourism accommodation providers, excluding managed isolation and quarantine facilities.

Key Points

Areas under the Red traffic light experienced steep declines in total guest nights

Eight of the twelve territorial authorities under the Red traffic light setting of the COVID-19 Protection Framework (CPF) experienced a greater fall in total guest nights than the nationwide average fall from December 2020 to December 2021. Of the territorial authorities at a Red traffic light setting, Rotorua experienced the greatest decrease, down 43% from 112,000 to 63,000 guest nights. Auckland, where travel across the regional border was restricted until 15 December, experienced a similar decrease, down 42% from 307,000 to 180,000 guest nights.

Other territorial authorities under the Red setting that performed worse than the nationwide fall in guest nights are Kaipara, Whangārei, Far North (forming the Northland region), Ruapehu, Whanganui and Taupō (see Figure 1). Gisborne, Ōpōtiki, Whakatāne and Rangitīkei were also under the Red setting, but performed better than the nationwide trend in total guest nights.

Figure 1: Percentage change in total guest nights for select territorial authorities (Red traffic light areas, and “Tourism Communities” areas) between December 2020 and December 2021.

Backpackers are out, lodges and boutique accommodation are in

Total guest nights in backpackers experienced a sharp 49% decrease from December 2020 (207,000) to December 2021 (106,000). This decrease may be attributed to a hesitance to share facilities with others considering COVID-19.

This trend is contrasted with a slight increase in total guest nights in lodges and boutique accommodation, increasing 3% from 71,000 to 73,000 over the same period. Figure 4 shows the changes in all other accommodation property types.

Figure 2: Percentage change in total guest nights by accommodation property type between December 2020 and December 2021.

South Island destinations and city centres also experienced similar declines to Red traffic light areas

Hamilton and South Waikato experienced the steepest declines in total guest nights, topping Rotorua and Auckland’s fall with a 44% and 45% decrease (respectively) from December 2020 to December 2021. This suggests that inter-regional travel restrictions between Auckland and other areas, and a general hesitance to travel, affected Waikato to a similar degree (if not more) than Auckland itself.

Four of the five South Island destinations targeted to receive government support through the Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan due to their high dependence on international tourism also performed poorly. Southland, Westland, Mackenzie, and Queenstown-Lakes experienced a -34% to -24% change in total guest nights (see Figure 1). The fifth destination, Kaikōura, experienced a 17% fall in guest nights.

City centres also experienced similar declines, with Nelson, Napier, Wellington, and Dunedin experiencing a -31% to -25% change in total guest nights from December 2020 to December 2021 (see Figure 3). This trend is significant when compared to the areas that experienced growth in total guest nights over the same period. Kāpiti Coast, Waitaki, Tararua and Waikato experienced a 7% to 39% increase in total guest nights. These four areas are further from dense urban centres, which may suggest that urban areas are becoming less attractive destinations as COVID-19 circulates in the community.

Figure 3: Percentage change in total guest nights for select territorial authorities (urban city areas, the five Tourism Communities areas, and areas with positive growth in guest nights) between December 2020 and December 2021.

Occupancy rates declined more in city centres than in Red traffic light areas

The nationwide occupancy rate (stay unit nights occupied as a percentage of available stay unit nights) declined 7.9 percentage points from 42.1% in December 2020 to 34.2% in December 2021.

Auckland experienced the sharpest fall in occupancy rates over this period, falling 19.4 percentage points from 47.3% to 27.9%. Hamilton experienced a similar fall of 18.9 percentage points (see Figure 5), while other city centres like Napier, Nelson and Wellington experienced falls ranging from 12 to 14 percentage points.

Red traffic light areas like Whanganui, Northland, Taupō, and Rotorua experienced smaller falls than city centres, ranging from 9 to 11 percentage points. However, these falls are still greater than the nationwide average decline.

Figure 4: Percentage change in occupancy rates for select territorial authorities (urban city areas and Red traffic light areas) between December 2020 and December 2021.

The Sustainable Tourism Explorer (STE) has been updated with the new ADP data

ADP data are now available in the STE in the form of interactive graphs. As well as visualising the data, you can customise the graphs and can download them and the related data.

The latest ADP data can be found in the Sustainable Tourism Explorer in the economic resilience section of the economy area. Breakdowns include:

Alternatively, the data can be found on the Accommodation Data Programme dashboard published by Fresh Information.