International guest nights jumped by 21% in September, boosted by Rugby World Cup visitors.
But that was offset by a 12% fall in domestic guest nights, because the school holidays were shifted to October.
Overall, guest nights in short-term accommodation rose just 0.3%.
North Island guest nights rose almost 8%, while South Island guest nights fell 11%.
Twenty-five of the 33 scheduled World Cup games in September were held in the North Island.