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Visitor arrivals ease in October

Embargoed until 10:45am – 21 November 2008

Visitor arrivals ease in October

Short-term overseas visitor arrivals (173,900) in October 2008 were down 3 percent compared with October 2007, Statistics New Zealand said today. The main contributors to the decrease were China (down 3,000 or 32 percent), the United States (down 2,000 or 12 percent), Korea (down 1,200 or 17 percent) and Japan (down 1,200 or 15 percent). The 2.463 million visitor arrivals recorded in the October 2008 year were down 5,500 (less than 1 percent) from the previous October year.

New Zealand residents departed on 175,900 short-term overseas trips in October 2008, up 7,800 (5 percent) from October 2007. The later timing of the school holidays, finishing on 12 October 2008 compared with 7 October 2007, contributed to the increase. In October 2008, there were more departures to Australia (up 4,600 or 5 percent) and Fiji (up 1,100 or 14 percent). For the October 2008 year, New Zealand resident departures numbered 1.984 million, up 24,700 (1 percent) from the previous year.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, permanent and long-term (PLT) arrivals matched PLT departures for the month of October 2008. This was also the situation in September 2008. The net PLT series averaged 500 per month between January 2007 and August 2008.

There was a net outflow of 34,600 PLT migrants to Australia in the October 2008 year. This was up from 26,500 the previous year, and was higher than peaks recorded in the January 1989 year (33,700) and the December 1979 year (33,400). The net figure (the difference between arrivals and departures) in the October 2008 year resulted from 47,800 PLT departures to Australia, partly offset by 13,200 PLT arrivals from Australia. Almost two-thirds of PLT arrivals from Australia were New Zealand citizens.

Despite the net PLT outflow to Australia, New Zealand's overall net PLT migration balance (4,300) was positive in the October 2008 year. However, this was down from 7,500 in the October 2007 year, and was the lowest annual figure since the October 2001 year (1,700).

Geoff Bascand
Government Statistician
21 November 2008


See also the Hot Off The Press information release International Travel and Migration: October 2008 (PDF).



International Travel and Migration: October 2008 Highlights

• Visitor arrivals (173,900) were down 3 percent from October 2007 (179,900).
• There were fewer visitors from China (down 3,000), the United States (down 2,000), Korea and Japan (both down 1,200).
• New Zealand resident departures (175,900) were up 5 percent from October 2007 (168,100).
• There were more trips by New Zealand residents to Australia (up 4,600) and Fiji (up 1,100), but fewer trips to France (down 2,800).
• Permanent and long-term arrivals matched departures on a seasonally adjusted basis.

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