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Visitor Arrivals Up 5 Percent

Visitor Arrivals Up 5 Percent

There were 150,400 short-term overseas visitor arrivals in New Zealand in April 2003, up 6,500 (or 5 percent) on April 2002, according to Statistics New Zealand. The timing of the Easter holidays, which fell in April this year, but in March in 2002, may have contributed to the increase in arrivals in April 2003. The combined number of overseas visitors in March and April 2003 was 344,300, down 2,100 (or less than 1 percent) on March and April 2002. This contrasts with increases for the combined months of March and April of 5 to 11 percent in each of the previous three years.

In April 2003, more visitors came from Australia (up 13,300), the United Kingdom (up 6,200), and the United States (up 1,100), compared with April 2002. However, there were fewer visitors from most of the Asian countries, including Thailand (down 3,500), Korea (down 2,900), Japan (down 2,300), Taiwan (down 2,100) and China (down 1,700). The number of stay days for all visitor arrivals in April 2003 increased 3 percent, compared with the previous April, from 2.95 million days to 3.05 million days, while the average length of stay decreased from 21 days to 20 days.

In the year ended April 2003, there were 2.069 million visitor arrivals, up 123,400 or 6 percent on the previous April year. Holidaymakers accounted for 52 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 Australia (up 26,200), the United Kingdom (up 20,500), Japan (up 19,600) Korea (up 17,000) and China (up 16,300), compared with the year ended April 2002.

Seasonally adjusted visitor arrivals fell 8 percent in April 2003, following a rise of 1 percent in March 2003, when compared with the previous month. New Zealand residents departed on 105,300 short-term overseas trips in April 2003, up 9,800 (or 10 percent) on April 2002. The timing of the Easter holidays may have contributed to the increase in departures in April 2003. There were more departures to Australia in April 2003 (up 6,700), compared with the previous April. In contrast, there were fewer trips to Hong Kong (down 1,500), China and Singapore (both down 1,000) and Taiwan (down 400). These four countries have all been affected by the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus.

In the year ended April 2003, New Zealand resident short-term departures numbered 1.293 million, up 2 percent on the year ended April 2002.

In April 2003, permanent and long-term (PLT) arrivals exceeded departures by 2,200, up from the net inflow of 1,700 in April 2002. The PLT arrivals included people – such as students – who arrived in New Zealand intending to stay for a period of 12 months or more.

The seasonally adjusted series recorded a net PLT inflow of 3,300 in April 2003, down from 3,700 in March 2003.

In the year ended April 2003, there was a net inflow of 42,000 PLT migrants, compared with 28,100 migrants in the previous April year. This resulted from 98,200 PLT arrivals (up 8,300), and 56,100 PLT departures (down 5,700) in 2003. Compared with the April 2002 year, New Zealand citizen departures were down 7,100 in 2003, and non-New Zealand citizen arrivals were up 6,400.

There were significant net PLT inflows from China (15,400), India (6,300), South Africa and Japan (both 2,300), Korea (2,100) and Fiji (1,900) in the April 2003 year. There was also a substantial net inflow from the United Kingdom (7,700), nearly double the April 2002 year figure (3,900). In contrast, there was a net outflow to Australia of 10,600, compared with net outflows of 15,400 in 2002 and 31,100 in 2001.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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