Overview of accommodation establishments and guest nights.

The city's accommodation sector was severely impacted by the 2010/2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence.

Many accommodation establishments were unavailable due to being temporarily or permanently damaged. Most central city establishments were inaccessible for many months after February 2011 as they were located within the cordoned area of the central city.



Key findings

Guest nights Increasing trendIncreasingTrend

There were 3.15 million guest nights at the City's commercial accommodation establishments for the year ended June 2019.

During the same period, a further estimated 1 million guest nights were booked at the city's Airbnbs. Further information.

Accommodation establishments Increasing trendIncreasingTrend

In June 2019, there were 210 commercial accommodation establishments in the City.

Airbnb accommodation is growing rapidly in Christchurch. This peaked at almost 3100 active Airbnb listings for rooms and entire homes/apartments in January 2019. Further information.

Daily accommodation capacity Increasing trendIncreasingTrend In June 2019, the City's commercial accommodation establishments had 8960 stay units of accommodation available daily for guest use. Further information.
Contribution to economy Increasing trendIncreasingTrend In 2017, the accommodation industry contributed $244 million towards Canterbury's GDP. This has increased by $70 million since 2014. Further information.
Satisfaction with accommodation Increasing trendIncreasingTrend Visitor satisfaction with the City's accommodation remains high, with an overall score of 8.4 out of 10 in 2018 (10 = extremely satisfied). Further information.

Guest nights

From the late 1990s to the mid-2000s, the number of guest nights at commercial accommodation providers in Christchurch increased annually. The number fluctuated between 2005 and 2010, in part due to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

Immediately after the the 2010/2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence, the total number of visitors staying in commercial accommodation establishments dropped by 38%.

Guest nights have gradually increased and in 2019 reached 3.15 million, a 3% increase from the previous year. The number of guest nights in 2019 equated to 94% of pre-quake numbers.

The number of guest nights from international guests more than halved between 2010 and 2012 (falling from 1.75 million to just over 800,000). Encouragingly, the number of international guest nights in the city has increased annually since 2012, and in 2019 international guests made up 48% of total guest nights.

Prior to the earthquakes, around 47% of guest nights were spent at hotel establishments, and around 27% at motels. After the earthquakes, with the city's hotel stock depleted, the proportion of guest nights spent at hotels fell to around 26%. This has gradually increased to 40% in 2019.

Guests staying at Airbnbs have increased substantially since 2016.

It is estimated that in the month of June 2016, there were around 1100 Airbnb guests for the month, staying at active Airbnb listings. By June 2019, there were around 66,100 Airbnb guest nights for the month (averaging around 2200 guests per night, compared with 36 per night in June 2016).

There has been a noticeable seasonal trend to guests staying at Airbnbs, with the greatest demand during the summer months. Airbnb guest nights peaked in February 2019, with an estimated 130,600 guest nights for the month.

For the year ended June 2019, the total visitor guest nights for both Airbnb guest nights and commercial accommodation providers combined is estimated to be 4.16 million guest nights. This is more than the pre-quake total of around 3.4 million guest nights (at commercial establishments only) in 2010.

As a proportion of the combined Airbnb and commercial accommodation guest nights, Airbnb guests made up less than 1% in June 2016. By June 2019, Airbnb guests made up an estimated 27% of all of these guest nights.

Type of accommodation establishments

In 2010, there were 231 commercial accommodation providers in the city. Motels made up the majority of these establishments (62%), followed by hotels (20%).

Two years after the earthquakes, the city had lost more than one fifth of its accommodation establishments (by 2012 there were 50 fewer establishments than in 2010), with a decrease in all types of establishments. Hotels were particularly affected, with numbers more than halving from 46 to 20.

Since 2012, the number of hotel, motel and backpacker establishments have increased overall and by June 2019 there were 210 establishments. Motels made up two thirds of these, while hotels made up 15%.

Airbnb accommodation providers have become an increasingly important part of the City's visitor accommodation supply. In June 2016, there were around 112 active Airbnb listings for private rooms and entire homes/apartments.

Three years later by June 2019, there were around 2700 active listings. Just over half (51%) were for entire homes/apartments, which has the potential to impact on the City's rental housing supply for local residents.

Accommodation capacity

Just over 8950 stay units were available to guests daily during 2019 at commercial accommodation establishments. This is 84% of the pre-quake daily capacity of 10,650 stay units.

Around 31% of the City's capacity was at hotels, followed by motels (25%).

Although there is no data for the total capacity of Airbnbs, the number of monthly active listings - 1315 private rooms and 1380 entire homes/apartments for the month ofJune 2019 - suggests that Airbnb annual capacity could number several thousand stay units each day.

Contribution of accommodation to economy

Tourism brings flow-on benefits to the region's economy. In 2017, the commercial accommodation industry contributed $244 million towards Canterbury's GDP.

Before the earthquakes, the accommodation industry contributed around $203 million towards Canterbury's GDP. This fell to $174 million by March 2014, which was similar to the amount in 2008.

Between 2014 and 2017, there was a $70 million increase (40%) in the value of the accommodation industry towards's Canterbury region's GDP. 

Visitor satisfaction with accommodation

Visitors staying in Christchurch City are generally satisfied with the City's accommodation, with an overall satisfaction score of 8.4 out of 10 in 2018 (with 0 being not at all satisfied and 10 being extremely satisfied). This is an improvement from 8.1 in 2016.

In 2018, visitors to Christchurch were more satisfied with the availability of accommodation rather than the price of accommodation.

In 2018, visitors from Australia and New Zealand rated their satisfaction with the availability of accommodation at 8 out of 10, which was slightly higher than other international visitors (7.8). Availability was rated higher in 2018 than in 2016 by each of the tourist markets.

New Zealand visitors were more satisfied with the price of accommodation than international visitors, with an overall rating of 7.4 out of 10 (compared with 7.2 for international visitors). Once again, ratings were higher in 2018 than in 2016.


Further information

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