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Visitor Arrivals Down 1 Percent

External Migration: December 2001

January 2002

Visitor Arrivals Down 1 Percent

There were 239,800 short-term overseas visitor arrivals in New Zealand in December 2001, down 3,200 or 1 percent on December 2000, according to Statistics New Zealand. This is the third successive month where there has been a fall in the number of visitors, when compared with the same month in the previous year. This reflects the effects of the 11 September events in the United States and the collapse of Ansett Australia. While there were fewer visitors from Japan (down 3,000 or 18 percent), Thailand (down 1,000 or 42 percent) and Samoa (down 800 or 25 percent), visitors from Korea (up 2,900 or 36 percent) and China (up 1,000 or 21 percent) were higher than in December 2000.

In the year ended December 2001, there were 1.910 million visitor arrivals, up 121,000 or 7 percent on the previous December year. There were more visitors from Australia (up 56,700), Korea (up 20,600), China (up 19,700) and the United Kingdom (up 11,400), but fewer from the United States (down 8,400). China has now moved ahead of Germany to become New Zealand's sixth largest source of visitors.

Seasonally adjusted visitor arrivals increased by 13 percent between November and December 2001. This follows an 8 percent drop from October to November 2001.

New Zealand residents departed on 118,100 short-term overseas trips in December 2001. This was 5,900 or 5 percent fewer than in December 2000. There were significant decreases in trips to Australia (down 5,300 or 9 percent) and the United States (down 800 or 13 percent), but these were partly offset by increases to China (up 1,400 or 61 percent) and Fiji (up 900 or 27 percent). In the year ended December 2001, New Zealand resident short-term departures numbered 1.287 million, up 4,000 or less than 1 percent on the year ended December 2000.

In the month of December 2001, permanent and long-term (PLT) arrivals exceeded departures by 3,400, compared with a net loss of 1,400 in December 2000. The change was the result of 2,300 more arrivals and 2,600 fewer departures. More New Zealanders returned home and fewer New Zealanders left in December 2001. PLT arrivals of New Zealand citizens in December 2001 were up 600 or 17 percent on December 2000, with most of the increase from the United Kingdom and Australia (countries of last permanent residence). PLT arrivals of non-New Zealand citizens were up 1,700 or 56 percent, with the largest increases from China (up 300) and the United Kingdom, Fiji and India (all up 200). New Zealand citizens, down 2,400 or 41 percent, contributed almost all of the decrease in PLT departures.

The seasonally adjusted series recorded a net PLT inflow of 2,500 in December 2001, down from 2,800 in November 2001.

In the year ended December 2001, there was a net inflow of 9,700 PLT migrants, compared with a net outflow of 11,300 migrants in the previous December year. This net inflow, which was the result of 18,100 more PLT arrivals and 2,900 fewer PLT departures in 2001, was the first in a December year since 1997. There was a net outflow to Australia (23,800), but net inflows from China (10,200), India (4,000), South Africa (2,900), Fiji (2,300) and Japan (2,000) in the year ended December 2001.

Brian Pink Government Statistician END

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