Figures released by Statistics New Zealand this month, show strong growth in domestic visitors to Queenstown for April 2012 as well as a recovery in international visitation. The Commercial Accommodation Monitor showed guest nights overall were up 8.5 percent (or 16,000) to 208,436 compared with April 2011.
Double digit growth for domestic visitors to Queenstown continued a summer trend with an increase of 15.2 percent to 84,366. International guest nights were up 4.3 percent to 124,071.
This was ahead of the national results which saw a decline of 2.5 percent domestic and 1.5 percent international visitors.
Destination Queenstown CEO Graham Budd said April was a good month overall for the resort, with several contributing factors.
“We had several major events on in the region including the inaugural NZ PGA Pro Am golf tournament, the Queenstown Bike Festival, GODZONE Adventure Race, and the Arrowtown Autumn Festival, which were the perfect catalysts for attracting domestic visitors.
“An earlier Easter also flowed nicely into school holidays this year which gave people an incentive to extend their holiday, make the most of the action and enjoy the stunning autumn colours.”
Mr Budd said that, with the current trend of Kiwis looking to holiday in New Zealand rather than overseas, Destination Queenstown had taken the opportunity to invest more in attracting domestic visitors.
“We had a deliberate strategy to focus more on our domestic market and promote Queenstown as their ideal autumn holiday destination.
“While it was also pleasing to see a small recovery in international visitors in April compared to 2011, there is still some way to go to regain the numbers lost to the South Island over the past year.”
Last week, for the second time in six months, Queenstown polled as the number one destination for Kiwi travellers according to a Travelbug survey, the travel website run by Trade Me. The survey of 17,000 New Zealanders showed Queenstown as the domestic location Kiwis most enjoyed holidaying (with 16% of the vote) and the place most people aspired to visit (18% support).