The rise of Airbnb’s popularity in Christchurch has seen guest nights in the city bounce back to near
Insights released today at ChristchurchNZ’s Summer Economic Update estimate, in the last three
months to September 2017, Airbnb has a 20 percent share of all available accommodation stay units
in the city – compared to just 1 percent in June 2016. This is compared to 32.5 percent in Auckland
and 10 percent in Queenstown.
When this figure is added to guest nights collated by Statistics New Zealand for traditional
accommodation providers – such as hotels and motels – it shows visitor guest nights in Christchurch
are almost as high as they were before the earthquakes.
The total number of Airbnb accommodation units in the city has almost doubled in the 12 months to
September 2017, rising from 1158 to 2035. Occupancy rates for September 2017 were at
approximately 43 percent.
ChristchurchNZ chief executive Joanna Norris said the insights show how innovation and the rise of
technology is impacting on traditional sectors.
“Airbnb is a clear example of a disruptor; where consumer demand – supported by technology –
drives change at exponential rates. Businesses that create opportunities off the back of disruptors
are those that will flourish. It’s about being agile and responding or anticipating to changes like this
ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Marketing Rowan Worner said visitor arrivals to Christchurch
have continued to track upwards to pre-earthquake levels and visitor spending has also been on the
“But guest nights didn’t seem to be bouncing back the same way, appearing that arrivals were not
converting to people staying in Christchurch,” she said.
Rowan said there was a feeling anecdotally Airbnb use was rising, giving visitors more
accommodation options when visiting the city.
“The formation of ChristchurchNZ, with economists on hand, had seen the assumptions looked at in
more detail and proven to be correct. We know there are lots of different types of travellers, who
require different types of accommodation and this growth is obviously filling a need.”
The insights into Airbnb usage were based on data from AirDNA, an analytics platform which takes
data off Airbnb’s website to give understandings on the performance of Airbnb rentals worldwide.
The average active listings and average occupancy rates on Airbnb were used to determine what
percentage of the visitor market was using the accommodation booking website in Christchurch.
ChristchurchNZ is the economic development and city profile agency for Christchurch.
A short Airbnb insights video has been produced for media use.
Visitor spending in Christchurch for the year to September 2017 was $2.238 billion, with growth of
3.7 percent on the same time last year. This makes up 8.2 percent of the annual $27.3 billion of
visitor spending nationally, for the year ending September 2017.
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