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Fall in visitor arrivals from Asia

Visitor arrivals from Asia were down 4,900 (8.2 percent) in June 2019 compared with the same month last year, Stats NZ said today.

The drop in visitors from Asia was offset by an increase in visitors from other places, especially the United States and our largest market, Australia. Total visitor arrivals was almost unchanged.

“We had fewer visitors from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Hong Kong, but more from Taiwan. Air New Zealand introduced a direct flight to Taiwan in November 2018,” population indicators manager Tehseen Islam said.

Visitors from China, our second largest market, were down 600 in June 2019 compared with June 2018.

May and June are typically the lowest months for overseas visitors to New Zealand.

The total number of visitor arrivals was 213,500 in June 2019, up 1,300 (0.6 percent) compared with the same month last year. The largest changes were from:
• United States and Australia – both up 1,900
• Malaysia – down 1,800
• Indonesia and Hong Kong – both down 1,400
• Taiwan – up 1,200.

Total annual arrivals up 2.7 percent

The total number of visitor arrivals for the year ended June 2019 was 3.89 million, up 102,900 (2.7 percent) from the year ended June 2018. This is the slowest annual growth in a June year since 2013, down from a peak of 11 percent in the year ended June 2016.

Subnational data available for New Zealand-resident travellers

This month we have resumed international travel statistics by New Zealand place of residence. These statistics previously relied on address information supplied on passenger cards, but now use geographic information from our Integrated Data Infrastructure. For information on the new method see Subnational short-term NZ-resident arrivals – DataInfo+.

Subnational New Zealand-resident traveller arrivals currently cover the period June 2014 to June 2019. We are still assessing how often these subnational statistics will be released.

Information about New Zealand-resident traveller arrivals is available for area of residence by regional council, territorial authority, and Auckland local board.

New Zealand-resident arrivals by area of residence – CSV has monthly data from June 2014 to June 2019, and rolling year ended data from May 2015 to June 2019. The CSV can be downloaded from International travel: June 2019.

Aucklanders the most frequent flyers

New Zealand residents averaged 63 international trips for every 100 residents in the year ended June 2019 (based on estimated resident population at 30 June 2018). Auckland residents had the highest rate among New Zealand’s 16 regions, averaging 80 trips for every 100 residents. Wellington region residents averaged 65 per 100. In contrast, residents of Gisborne region averaged 31 trips per 100 residents.

“The rate at which New Zealanders makes overseas trips varies from region to region. Proximity to an international airport plays a part in the ease and affordability of travel,” Mr Islam said.

Among smaller geographies, the highest overseas trip rates were among the residents of the Auckland local board areas of Ōrākei (131 trips per 100 residents), Devonport-Takapuna (106 per 100), and Waitematā (105 per 100).

See map, Number of overseas trips by New Zealand residents

Passenger arrival card updated

New Zealand Customs Service has updated the New Zealand passenger arrival card [PDF 35 KB] with additional categories for the main purpose of travel for New Zealand-resident travellers (question 2a).

It is likely to be several months until the new cards are circulating widely and we can publish reliable data for the new categories.

Text alternative for map, Number of overseas trips by New Zealand residents

Regional map of New Zealand showing number of overseas trips by New Zealand residents in year ending June 2019, per 100 people resident in each region. Circles are proportional to number of overseas trips per 100 population, ranging from Auckland (80 trips per 100 residents) down to Gisborne (31 trips per 100 residents). Population denominator is the estimated resident population of each region at 30 June 2018 (as of 9 August 2019).

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