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Visitor arrivals surge to new May record

Visitor arrivals surge to new May record – Media release

24 June 2013

Visitor arrivals in May 2013 were up 9 percent from May 2012, Statistics New Zealand said today.

"The latest visitor number was easily the highest ever for a May month," population statistics manager Andrea Blackburn said. "Arrival figures jumped to 153,000, after sitting at around 141,000 for the last six May months."

The increase in May 2013 was mainly due to more visitors from Australia (up 8,000) and China (up 3,900).

In the year ended May 2013, there were 2.628 million visitors, up less than 1 percent from the previous year. This year's increase was despite visitor numbers in the May 2012 year being boosted by the Rugby World Cup.

New Zealand residents departed on 182,400 overseas trips in May 2013. This was up 2 percent from May 2012, and was also a record for a May month.

In the May 2013 year, New Zealand residents departed on 2.163 million overseas trips, up 2 percent from the previous year. The biggest increase was in trips to the United States (up 15,200), helped by a more favourable currency exchange rate.

Fewer departures to Australia push up net migration

New Zealand had a seasonally adjusted net gain (more arrivals than departures) of 1,700 migrants in May 2013. This is the highest net gain since January 2010 (1,800). The increased net gain of migrants over the past five months was mainly due to fewer New Zealand citizens departing to Australia. There was also an increase in arrivals during this period.

The seasonally adjusted net loss of 1,900 migrants to Australia in May 2013 was the smallest net loss since July 2010 (1,600). The latest net loss to Australia was well down on the recent high of 3,600 recorded in September 2011.

In the May 2013 year, New Zealand had a net gain of 6,200 migrants. This compares with a net loss of 3,700 in the May 2012 year.

Auckland, Canterbury, and Otago were the only regions that had net gains of international migrants. The Canterbury region's net gain of 2,600 migrants in the May 2013 year compared with a net loss of 2,500 in the May 2012 year, following the Christchurch earthquake in February 2011.

Visit International Travel and Migration: May 2013

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