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Visitor Arrivals Up 29 Percent

Visitor Arrivals Up 29 Percent

There were 132,700 short-term overseas visitor arrivals to New Zealand in May 2004, up 30,000 or 29 percent on May 2003, according to Statistics New Zealand. This exceeds the 27 percent increase of April 1992 on April 1991.

In May 2004, there were more visitors from countries in Asia (up 16,400 or 82 percent), Australia (up 9,500 or 23 percent) and the United States (up 1,200 or 12 percent) than in May 2003. Visitor arrivals from countries in Asia dropped from 37,700 in May 2002 to 20,000 in May 2003, as a response to the SARS virus, and almost returned to the 2002 level in May 2004 (36,400).

The number of stay days for all visitor arrivals in May 2004 was up 8 percent on May 2003, from 2.22 million days to 2.40 million days. The average length of stay was 18 days in May 2004, compared with 22 days in May 2003.

In the year ended May 2004, there were 2.227 million visitor arrivals, up 173,900 or 8 percent on the May 2003 year. There were more visitors from Australia (up 117,600), the United Kingdom (up 29,800), Korea (up 7,200), the United States (up 5,900) and Malaysia (up 5,000), but fewer visitors from Japan (down 8,600), Taiwan (down 5,000) and China (down 2,400), compared with the year ended May 2003.

Seasonally adjusted monthly visitor arrivals fell 1 percent in May 2004, following a rise of 4 percent in April 2004.

New Zealand residents departed on 136,800 short-term overseas trips in May 2004, an increase of 28,500 (26 percent) on May 2003. There were more trips to Australia (up 7,400 or 13 percent), Fiji (up 3,100 or 53 percent) and the United Kingdom (up 2,100 or 24 percent).

In the year ended May 2004, New Zealand resident short-term departures numbered 1.501 million, up 16 percent on the year ended May 2003. This total is a significant milestone for New Zealand resident departures, as it surpasses the 1.5 million mark for the first time.

Permanent and long-term (PLT) departures exceeded arrivals by 600 in May 2004, compared with an excess of 1,100 PLT arrivals over departures in May 2003. This net PLT outflow can be attributed to 1,000 fewer PLT arrivals and 700 more PLT departures. The main reason for the drop in PLT arrivals was a fall in non-New Zealand citizen arrivals (down 700). China accounted for over half of this drop, with 400 fewer arrivals.

The seasonally adjusted series recorded a net PLT inflow of 1,400 in May 2004, up from 1,000 in April 2004.

In the year ended May 2004, there was a net PLT migration gain of 24,000. This is 44 percent lower than the net inflow of 42,500 people in the previous May year. This resulted from 85,200 PLT arrivals (down 12,800), and 61,200 PLT departures (up 5,700) in the May 2004 year.

Compared with the May 2003 year, there was no change in New Zealand citizen arrivals, whereas New Zealand citizen departures increased by 1,700. In contrast, non-New Zealand citizen arrivals were down 12,800 and non-New Zealand citizen departures were up 4,000.

In the year ended May 2004, there was a net PLT inflow of 9,700 from the United Kingdom, up 20 percent on the May 2003 year figure (8,000). There was also a net inflow from China of 6,100, down from a net inflow of 15,200 in the May 2003 year. Overall, net PLT inflow from Asia has reduced considerably, from 31,800 in the May 2003 year, to 15,400 in the May 2004 year. Conversely, there was a net outflow to Australia of 11,900 in the May 2004 year.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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