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Visitor Arrivals Up 9 Percent

Visitor Arrivals Up 9 Percent

There were 211,700 short-term overseas visitor arrivals in New Zealand in March 2004, up 17,900 or 9 percent on March 2003, according to Statistics New Zealand.

In March 2004, there were more visitors from Australia (up 14,200 or 23 percent) and the United Kingdom (up 3,200 or 13 percent) than in March 2003. The number of stay days for all visitor arrivals in March 2004 decreased by 4 percent on the previous March, from 4.00 million days to 3.82 million days. The average length of stay was 18 days in March 2004, compared with 21 days in March 2003.

In the year ended March 2004, there were 2.163 million visitor arrivals, up 101,000 or 5 percent on the previous March year. There were more visitors from Australia (up 105,000), the United Kingdom (up 36,300), Germany (up 4,500) and the United States (up 3,700), but fewer visitors from Japan (down 22,500), China (down 15,400) and Taiwan (down 9,900), compared with the year ended March 2003.

Seasonally adjusted monthly visitor arrivals were up by 1 percent in March 2004, following a drop of 3 percent in February 2004.

New Zealand residents departed on 113,600 short-term overseas trips in March 2004, an increase of 30 percent or 26,200 on March 2003. There were more trips to Australia (up 17,500 or 37 percent), the United Kingdom (up 2,000 or 55 percent) and Fiji (up 1,400 or 45 percent).

In the year ended March 2004, New Zealand resident short-term departures numbered 1.434 million, up 12 percent on the year ended March 2003.

Permanent and long-term (PLT) departures exceeded arrivals by 300 in March 2004, compared with an excess of 1,800 PLT arrivals over departures in the previous March month. This net PLT outflow, which is the first since May 2001, can be attributed to 1,600 fewer PLT arrivals and 400 more PLT departures. The main reason for the drop in PLT arrivals was a fall in non-New Zealand citizen arrivals (down 1,400). China accounted for over half of this drop, with 800 fewer arrivals, the majority of whom were from the 15–24 year age group. PLT arrivals have now dropped in each of the past 13 months when compared with the same month a year earlier, while PLT departures have increased in each of the past eight months.

The seasonally adjusted series recorded a net PLT inflow of 1,200 in March 2004, down from 2,100 in February 2004.

In the year ended March 2004, there was a net migration gain of 28,000 – 33 percent lower than the net inflow of 41,600 people in the previous March year. This resulted from 87,500 PLT arrivals (down 11,200), and 59,500 PLT departures (up 2,400) in 2004. Compared with the March 2003 year, New Zealand citizen arrivals were up 1,100 and New Zealand citizen departures were down 1,000. In contrast, non-New Zealand citizen arrivals were down 12,300 and non-New Zealand citizen departures were up 3,400.

There were net inflows from China (7,400), India (4,100) and Japan (2,100) in the year ended March 2004. There was also a substantial net inflow from the United Kingdom (10,300), up 43 percent on the March 2003 year figure (7,200). Conversely, there was a net outflow to Australia of 11,000 in the March 2004 year, compared with net outflows of 11,300 in the March 2003 year and 16,100 in the March 2002 year.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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