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Visitor Arrivals Drop 4 Percent

Visitor Arrivals Drop 4 Percent

There were 145,600 short-term overseas visitor arrivals in New Zealand in July 2003, down 6,600 or 4 percent on July 2002, according to Statistics New Zealand. In July 2003, there were 7,000 or 16 percent fewer visitors from Asia compared with July 2002.

Within this region there were fewer visitors from Japan (down 3,700 or 28 percent), China (down 3,000 or 48 percent) and Taiwan (down 1,800 or 38 percent), but more from Korea (up 1,100 or 10 percent). Outside of Asia, there were more visitors from the United Kingdom (up 1,700 or 15 percent) and the United States (up 600 or 4 percent), but fewer from Australia (down 1,500 or 3 percent). The number of stay days for all visitor arrivals in July 2003 dropped 4 percent on the previous July, from 3.54 million days to 3.41 million days, while the average length of stay was 23 days in both July 2003 and July 2002.

In the year ended July 2003, there were 2.044 million visitor arrivals, up 80,200 or 4 percent on the previous July 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 25,200), the United Kingdom (up 23,000), the United States (up 13,800), Korea (up 13,700) and Japan (up 8,500), compared with the year ended July 2002.

Seasonally adjusted visitor arrivals were down less than 1 percent in July 2003, following a rise of 8 percent in June 2003, when compared with the previous month.

New Zealand residents departed on 138,300 short-term overseas trips in July 2003, an increase of 18 percent or 21,400 on July 2002. Four countries contributed just over two-thirds of this increase – Australia (up 12,500), the United States (up 1,100), Tonga (up 700) and the United Kingdom (up 600). Changes in the timing of the start of the New Zealand school holidays, from late June in 2002 to early July in 2003, may have contributed to these increases. For the combined months of June and July 2003 there were 260,100 resident departures, up just 3 percent on the 252,700 departures in June and July 2002.

In the year ended July 2003, New Zealand resident short-term departures numbered 1.300 million, up 3 percent on the year ended July 2002.

Permanent and long-term (PLT) arrivals exceeded departures by 3,000 in July 2003, compared with 3,500 in the previous July month. 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 2,800 in July 2003, down from 3,000 in June 2003.

In the year ended July 2003, there was a net migration gain of 42,100 – 22 percent higher than the net inflow of 34,600 people in the previous July year. This resulted from 96,800 PLT arrivals (up 2,900), and 54,700 PLT departures (down 4,600) in 2003. Compared with the July 2002 year, New Zealand citizen departures were down 6,200, and non-New Zealand citizen arrivals were up 1,000.

There were significant net inflows from China (14,300), India (5,900), Japan (2,300), South Africa (2,000) and Fiji and Korea (both up 1,900) in the year ended July 2003. There was also a substantial net inflow from the United Kingdom (8,800), up 66 percent on the July 2002 year (5,300). Conversely, there was a net outflow to Australia of 9,400 in the July 2003 year, compared with net outflows of 13,400 in the July 2002 year and 30,000 in 2001. This is the first July year since 1995 that there has been a net outflow to Australia of fewer than 10,000 people.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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