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Record Monthly Visitor Arrivals

Record Monthly Visitor Arrivals

There was a record monthly total of 265,700 short-term overseas visitor arrivals in New Zealand in December 2002, according to Statistics New Zealand. This surpasses the previous high of 243,000 in December 2000.

Visitor arrivals in December 2002 were up 25,900 (or 11 percent) on December 2001. More visitors came from Australia (up 8,200), Japan (up 5,700), the United States (up 3,800), the United Kingdom (up 2,400) and China (up 2,200), compared with December 2001. The number of stay days for all visitor arrivals was up 13 percent on the previous December, from 5.52 million to 6.22 million days, while the average length of stay was unchanged at 23 days.

In the year ended December 2002, there were 2.045 million visitor arrivals, up 135,000 (or 7 percent) on the previous December year. The United Kingdom (up 25,300), Japan (up 24,500), China (up 23,400), Korea (up 22,800) and the United States (up 17,900) were the main contributors to the increase. There were also smaller increases – ranging from 1,900 to 4,600 – in visitors from Australia, Canada, France, India, Ireland and Thailand.

Seasonally adjusted visitor arrivals rose 3 percent between November and December 2002. This follows a 2 percent drop from October to November 2002.

New Zealand residents departed on 123,600 short-term overseas trips in December 2002, up 5,400 (or 5 percent) on December 2001. There were more departures to China (up 1,900), Korea, the United Kingdom and South Africa (each up 600), Samoa (up 500) and Canada and Viet Nam (each up 400). In contrast, there were fewer trips to Australia (down 1,300), Taiwan (down 600), Fiji (down 400) and Japan (down 300).

In the year ended December 2002, New Zealand resident short-term departures numbered 1.294 million, up 6,600 on the previous December year.

Permanent and long-term (PLT) arrivals exceeded departures by 3,400 in December 2002, the same net inflow as that recorded in December 2001.

In the year ended December 2002, there were 96,000 PLT arrivals, up 14,900 on the last December year. In contrast, there were 13,600 fewer PLT departures (57,800). The overall result was a net inflow of 38,200 PLT migrants in 2002, compared with a net inflow of 9,700 migrants in the previous December year. The main contributors to this increase in net migration were non-New Zealand citizen arrivals (up 12,900), and New Zealand citizen departures (down 13,900).

There were significant net inflows from China (14,700), India (6,600), the United Kingdom (5,900) and South Africa (2,800) in the December 2002 year. In addition Fiji, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines each contributed net inflows between 1,000 and 2,300. Conversely, there was a net outflow to Australia of 12,100, approximately half the net outflow to Australia of 23,800 in the December 2001 year.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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