Tourism Industry Aotearoa, which represents 140 New Zealand hotels, says occupancy rates hit a five-year high in 2015.

The average occupancy rate was 78.8 per cent, up 3.1 per cent on 2014. The average daily rate achieved rose $12 to $157, another five-year high.

Total revenue for all members rose to $1.17 billion from $1.05b in 2014.

Auckland achieved the highest annual occupancy rate of 84 per cent, followed by Queenstown at 78.6 per cent and Wellington at 77.9 per cent.

Total capacity was static at 17,900, with an increase in capacity in Christchurch offset by the temporary closure of an Auckland property for refurbishment.

The industry figures tally with the official data release from Statistics New Zealand which has recorded increases in guest nights for the past twenty-five months, driven by soaring tourist numbers.

In its most recent release, the official government body flagged that while demand for accommodation had soared in recent years, capacity remained little changed.

A New Zealand Trade and Enterprise programme, ‘Project Palace’ aims to increase the number of international investors in hotels in New Zealand.

A report released last month showed New Zealand would need another 4526 hotel rooms, or 26 hotels, by 2025 to cope with expected increased visitor numbers.

Earlier on Thursday, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said he had met with a number of investors already investing in New Zealand hotels when he was in Vietnam and Singapore, and they had been very interested in the report.

“A number of them indicated they would be keen to make a further investment in New Zealand,” Joyce said. “If we can provide quality background information that speeds up that investment, that’s good.”