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Visitor Arrivals Drop 3 Percent

Visitor Arrivals Drop 3 Percent

There were 112,000 short-term overseas visitor arrivals in New Zealand in June 2003, down 3,200 or 3 percent on June 2002, according to Statistics New Zealand.

In June 2003, there were 7,800 or 25 percent fewer visitors from Asia compared with June 2002. Within this region there were fewer visitors from China (down 2,900 or 64 percent), Japan (down 2,500 or 36 percent) and Taiwan (down 1,500 or 58 percent). However, there were more visitors from Australia (up 2,700 or 7 percent), the United Kingdom (up 1,800 or 21 percent) and the United States (up 800 or 5 percent). The number of stay days for all visitor arrivals in June 2003 decreased 6 percent, compared with the previous June, from 2.50 million days to 2.35 million days, while the average length of stay decreased from 22 days to 21 days.

In the year ended June 2003, there were 2.050 million visitor arrivals, up 94,600 or 5 percent on the previous June 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 31,200), the United Kingdom (up 21,400), Korea (up 13,200), Japan and the United States (both up 13,000) and China (up 5,600), compared with the year ended June 2002. Seasonally adjusted visitor arrivals increased 7 percent in June 2003, following a drop of 4 percent in May 2003, when compared with the previous month.

New Zealand residents departed on 121,900 short-term overseas trips in June 2003, a drop of 10 percent or 14,000 on June 2002. Almost half of this decline can be attributed to a drop in trips to Asia (down 6,700). Within Asia, there were fewer trips to Indonesia (down 1,700 or 69 percent), China (down 1,200 or 42 percent), and Thailand (down 900 or 38 percent). There were also fewer trips to the United States (down 2,300 or 27 percent) and Fiji (down 1,300 or 15 percent). Possible reasons for these declines include concerns over the SARS virus, the Bali bombings and changes in the timing of the start of the New Zealand school holidays from late June in 2002 to early July in 2003.

In the year ended June 2003, New Zealand resident short-term departures numbered 1.278 million, up 1 percent on the year ended June 2002. Permanent and long-term (PLT) arrivals exceeded departures by 1,900 in June 2003, the same as in June 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 3,100 in June 2003, down from 3,700 in May 2003.

In the year ended June 2003, there was a net migration gain of 42,500 – 30 percent higher than the net inflow of 32,800 people in the previous June year. This resulted from 97,200 PLT arrivals (up 4,600), and 54,700 PLT departures (down 5,100) in 2003. Compared with the June 2002 year, New Zealand citizen departures were down 6,700, and non-New Zealand citizen arrivals were up 2,800.

There were significant net inflows from China (14,800), India (6,100), Japan (2,300), South Africa (2,100) and Korea (2,000) in the year ended June 2003. There was also a substantial net inflow from the United Kingdom (8,500), up 72 percent on the June 2002 year (4,900). Conversely, there was a net outflow to Australia of 9,700 in the June 2003 year, compared with net outflows of 13,700 in the June 2002 year and 31,000 in 2001.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

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