25 Oct 2008

Domestic tourism numbers down, but hopes are high

5:07 pm on 25 October 2008

Tourism operators and accommodation providers are nervously watching their tills this Labour weekend with the latest figures showing people are choosing to stay home.

Statistics released by Tourism New Zealand on Friday, show a 5.5% drop in domestic travel, with spending down by 6.4%.

But tourism bosses are hoping that falling petrol prices will change the trend.

In Queenstown several hotels have cut the price of rooms and Destination Queenstown chief executive David Kennedy says while there is some evidence fewer people from the North Island are travelling south, that's not the case for surrounding regions.

He says 64% of Queenstown's domestic travellers come from Otago, Southland and Canterbury and the indication is they are still traveling to Queenstown.

He says long weekends are traditionally good for the resort, but agrees the statisticians will be closely looking at the figures for this weekend.