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Fewer international travellers due to later Easter

Fewer international travellers due to later Easter

23 April 2014

Visitor arrivals to New Zealand in March 2014 were affected by the later timing of Easter, and later school holidays in some key source countries, Statistics New Zealand said today. The number of visitors in March (253,600) was down 6 percent from last year.

"Fewer visitors arrived between 21 and 31 March, compared with the same days in 2013," population statistics project manager Joel Watkins said. "This was related to the timing of Easter, with Good Friday moving from 29 March to 18 April. School holidays in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and some Australian states coincide with Easter, so were also later this year, resulting in fewer visitors from these countries."

In the March 2014 year, visitor arrivals numbered 2.75 million, up 5 percent from the March 2013 year. Germany (74,200) became the fifth-biggest source of visitors, moving ahead of Japan (73,300). New Zealand's top four sources of visitors were Australia (1.22 million), China (239,700), the United States (207,700), and the United Kingdom (191,900).

The later Easter also affected the number of New Zealand residents departing on overseas trips. The 148,000 overseas trips taken in March 2014 was down 5 percent from March 2013. Over the year, New Zealand residents took 2.20 million trips, up 2 percent from last year. The most-common destinations were Australia (1.03 million), the United States (146,100), Fiji (114,200), and the United Kingdom (96,100).

Net gain of migrants continues to increase
New Zealand had a seasonally adjusted net gain (more arrivals than departures) of 3,800 migrants in March 2014 – the second-highest gain on record. The highest was in February 2003 (4,700), when a large number of overseas students arrived to study at New Zealand universities. Net migration has been positive and mostly increasing since September 2012. The increase since then was mainly due to fewer New Zealand citizens leaving for Australia, as well as more non-New Zealand citizens arriving.

In the March 2014 year, migrant arrivals numbered 98,000 (up 14 percent), and migrant departures numbered 66,100 (down 21 percent), resulting in a net gain of 31,900 migrants. This is the highest gain since the January 2004 year (33,300). The highest net gain ever recorded was 42,500 in the May 2003 year.

In the latest year, New Zealand had a net loss of 12,900 migrants to Australia, well down from 35,500 a year earlier. Net gains were recorded from most other countries, led by China (6,200), India (6,100), and the United Kingdom (5,800).

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