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Visitor Arrivals Up 5 Percent

Visitor Arrivals Up 5 Percent

There were 222,200 short-term overseas visitor arrivals in New Zealand in February 2003, up 10,000 or 5 percent on February 2002, according to Statistics New Zealand. More visitors came from Australia (up 5,000), the United Kingdom (up 3,400), Korea (up 1,500), China (up 1,100) and the United States (up 800), compared with February 2002. The number of stay days for all visitor arrivals in February 2003 was up 8 percent on the previous February, from 4.76 million days to 5.16 million days, while the average length of stay increased from 22 days to 23 days.

In the year ended February 2003, there were 2.071 million visitor arrivals, up 141,900 or 7 percent on the previous February year. Holidaymakers accounted for 53 percent of the overseas visitors, while 26 percent came to visit friends and relatives and 10 percent came for business reasons.

There were more visitors from Japan (up 26,300), the United Kingdom (up 26,000), Korea (up 23,900), China (up 21,300), the United States (up 11,600) and Australia (up 11,000), compared with the year ended February 2002.

Seasonally adjusted visitor arrivals fell 2 percent in February 2003, but rose 1 percent in January 2003, when compared with the previous month.

New Zealand residents departed on 63,900 short-term overseas trips in February 2003, an increase of 1,400 or 2 percent on February 2002. There were more departures to Australia (up 1,200), the United Kingdom and China (both up 400) and Korea (up 200), compared with February 2002. In contrast there were 400 fewer departures to the United States.

In the year ended February 2003, New Zealand resident short-term departures numbered 1.297 million, up 20,200 or 2 percent on the year ended February 2002.

In February 2003, permanent and long-term (PLT) arrivals exceeded departures by 6,700, an increase of 2,500 over the net inflow of 4,200 in February 2002.

It is likely that students were the major contributors to this increase in net PLT migration. While PLT arrivals of those aged 20–24 years increased by 81 percent, up from 1,900 in February 2002 to 3,400 in February 2003, departures were unchanged. Within this age group, there was a net inflow from China of 1,700, up 1,200 on the net inflow in February 2002. In contrast, arrivals of 20–24 year olds from the United Kingdom balanced departures in February 2003.

The seasonally adjusted series recorded a net PLT inflow of 5,200 in February 2003, up from 3,900 in January 2003.

In the year ended February 2003, there was a net inflow of 41,600 PLT migrants, compared with 22,000 migrants in the previous February year. This resulted from 98,700 PLT arrivals (up 12,400), and 57,200 PLT departures (down 7,200) in 2003. Compared with the February 2002 year, non-New Zealand citizen arrivals were up 10,600 in 2003, and New Zealand citizen departures were down 8,200.

There were significant net PLT inflows from China (16,200), India (6,400), South Africa (2,500), Japan (2,300), Korea (2,200) and Fiji (2,000) in the February 2003 year. There was also a substantial net inflow from the United Kingdom (6,900), which was more than double the February 2002 year figure (2,900). There was a net outflow to Australia of 11,500, compared with net outflows of 17,300 in 2002 and 31,500 in 2001.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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