Queenstown visitor numbers boosted by spring snowfall

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Queenstown’s biggest spring snowfall in years is behind a spike in September visitor numbers to the resort.

New figures from Statistics New Zealand’s commercial accommodation monitor show that in September 2010, the resort’s total visitor nights were up nine per cent to 196,686 - with international guests accounting for 68.1 per cent of those. 

International visitor nights were up 9.5 per cent to 133,970 and domestic visitor nights up 7.8 per cent to 62,716 compared to the same time last year. 

“We had the biggest spring snowfall in years which brought fantastic spring snow conditions and extended our ski season, conference and incentive activity was strong and there was also increased joint venture marketing activity from the industry, Tourism NZ and Destination Queenstown in Australia – all of which contributed to filling extra air capacity,” Destination Queenstown boss Tony Everitt says. 

“The result helped offset some earthquake-related cancellations, particularly from risk-adverse Asian market, and ongoing tough economic conditions in the UK and USA. 

“Hotels have generally done quite well during September although some activity operators and retailers appear to have been quieter due to the shift in visitor mix.” 

Everitt adds: “One thing that’s good to see is a recovery in domestic guest nights which coincides with the launch of Destination Queenstown’s television commercial.”