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International Arrivals and Departures Exceed 6.8 M

International Arrivals and Departures Exceed 6.8 Million

Annual total passenger arrivals and departures (consisting of overseas visitors, New Zealand residents and migrants) reached 6.82 million in the December 2002 year, according to Statistics New Zealand. These flows consisted of 3.44 million arrivals and 3.38 million departures. These totals represent increases of 5 and 4 percent respectively, compared with the 2001 year.

Overseas visitor arrivals totalled 2.04 million in 2002, up 135,200 or 7 percent over the December 2001 year. The 10 most important source countries contributed 1.60 million or almost four-fifths of all visitor arrivals in 2002. Australia with 632,500 visitors accounted for nearly one-third of all visitors. The next largest source of visitors was the United Kingdom (237,000), followed by the United States (205,300), Japan (173,600), Korea (109,900), China (76,500) and Germany (49,000).

More than half of all short-term visitors to New Zealand came for a holiday (1,073,900). A further 522,400 came to visit friends and relatives, 213,900 came on business, 52,800 came for education/medical reasons and 37,700 came to attend a conference.

Short-term departures by New Zealand residents exceeded 1.29 million in 2002, an increase of less than 1 percent, compared with the December 2001 year. Australia remained the most popular country of main destination, accounting for 650,800 or 50 percent of departures. The next three most popular destinations were the United States (67,200), Fiji (66,900) and the United Kingdom (65,200), each accounting for 5 percent of departures. Fiji maintained its position as a more popular destination than the United Kingdom – a position it gained for the first time in more than 20 years – in 2001.

Two-fifths (546,700) of the New Zealand residents departing for a short trip in 2002 went on a holiday. A further 378,900 left to visit friends and relatives, 213,300 went on business, 43,700 left for a conference, and 19,500 left for education/medical reasons. In the December 2002 year there was a net inflow of 38,200 permanent and long-term migrants compared with a net inflow of 9,700 in 2001. The net inflow in 2002 consisted of a net outflow of 16,700 New Zealand citizens, but a net gain of 54,900 non-New Zealand citizens.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician


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