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Chinese visitors help drive New Zealand accommodation boom

Staff writer |
A record number of Chinese visitors helped drive a surge in New Zealand's tourism accommodation sector in May, according to figures from the government statistics agency.

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Guest nights spent in commercial accommodation were up 5.5 percent from May last year, said Statistics New Zealand.

"As in the previous three months, most of the rise for May was from international guest nights," business indicators manager Neil Kelly said in a statement.

"Two-thirds of the increase in international guest nights occurred in the South Island."

Domestic guest nights were up 2.3 percent year on year, while international guest nights were up 11 percent.

For the year ended May 2015, total guest nights were up 5.2 percent from the May 2014 year.

The number of visitors from China was up 45 percent year on year in May, and drove a 10-percent rise in total visitors to New Zealand, Statistics New Zealand said last month.

Total visitor arrivals numbered 176,700 in May, with arrivals from China up by 7,700.

Total arrivals in the year ending May were up 7 percent year on year to a record 2.98 million, with the biggest increase in arrivals from China.

Annual visitor arrivals from China were 309,800, with China contributing the biggest increase in visitor arrivals, up 70,200 from the May 2014 year.

China was New Zealand's second biggest source country for visitors, after Australia.

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