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NZers drive increase in international travel

Embargoed until 10:45am – 19 February 2008

New Zealanders drive increase in international travel

International passenger movements to and from New Zealand numbered 9.06 million in 2007, Statistics New Zealand said today. Since 2003, passenger movements have increased by almost two million, with almost two-thirds of the increase being due to more short-term overseas trips by New Zealand residents.

The 6.46 million international passenger movements through Auckland airport in 2007 accounted for 71 percent of all passenger movements to and from New Zealand. Another 18 percent (1.61 million) travelled through Christchurch airport and 7 percent (595,500) through Wellington airport. The remaining 4 percent travelled through other airports or seaports.

Four out of every five visitors to New Zealand in 2007 came from the top ten source countries. The leading source country was Australia (39 percent of all visitors), followed by the United Kingdom (12 percent of all visitors). These two countries and China contributed the majority of the increase in visitor arrivals between 2003 and 2007.

Australia was the most visited destination by New Zealand residents, with half of all short-term overseas trips in 2007 to that country. Fiji, the United Kingdom and the United States were each the destination for 5 percent of New Zealand resident departures. When compared with 2006, trips increased to all major destinations except Fiji in 2007.

New Zealand recorded a net gain of 5,500 permanent and long-term migrants in 2007, with net inflows to Auckland (6,400), Canterbury (700), Otago (200) and Marlborough (100). The largest net outflow was from the Bay of Plenty (1,200), followed by Manawatu-Wanganui (700), Waikato (600) and Wellington (500).

Both Manawatu-Wanganui and Wellington recorded net inflows in 2006.

Geoff Bascand
Government Statistician
19 February 2008

ENDS

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