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Visitor Arrivals Up 7 Percent

19 March 2004

Visitor Arrivals Up 7 Percent

There were 238,000 short-term overseas visitor arrivals in New Zealand in February 2004, up 15,800 or 7 percent on February 2003, according to Statistics New Zealand. Because 2004 is a leap year, there was one more day in February 2004 than in February 2003. If the 8,200 visitor arrivals on this extra day were excluded, there would have been an increase of only 3 percent over February 2003.

In February 2004, there were more visitors from Australia (up 12,800 or 22 percent), the United Kingdom (up 5,000 or 13 percent), Germany (up 1,300 or 16 percent), and Korea (up 1,000 or 10 percent), but fewer visitors from China (down 3,700 or 36 percent), the United States (down 2,600 or 10 percent) and Hong Kong (down 800 or 32 percent). The change in timing of the Chinese New Year, from February in 2003 to January in 2004, was a likely reason for some of the drop in visitors from China and Hong Kong.

Almost all of the drop in visitor arrivals from the United States was due to fewer cruise ship passengers.

The number of stay days for all visitor arrivals in February 2004 increased by 7 percent on the previous February, from 5.16 million days to 5.51 million days. The average length of stay was 23 stays in both February 2004 and February 2003.

In the year ended February 2004, there were 2.146 million visitor arrivals, up 74,500 or 4 percent on the previous February year. There were more visitors from Australia (up 89,200), the United Kingdom (up 29,600), the United States (up 4,100) and Germany (up 4,000), compared with the year ended February 2003.

Seasonally adjusted monthly visitor arrivals were down by 3 percent in February 2004, following a drop of less than 1 percent in January 2004.

New Zealand residents departed on 84,600 short-term overseas trips in February 2004, an increase of 32 percent or 20,700 on February 2003. There were more trips to Australia (up 12,500 or 34 percent), India (up 700 or 95 percent), China (up 500 or 44 percent) and Fiji (up 500 or 24 percent). If the extra day in February 2004 was excluded, there would have been a 28 percent increase over February 2003.

In the year ended February 2004, New Zealand resident short-term departures numbered 1.407 million, up 9 percent on the year ended February 2003.

Permanent and long-term (PLT) arrivals exceeded departures by 3,400 in February 2004, compared with 6,700 in the previous February. This decrease can be attributed to 2,400 fewer PLT arrivals and 800 more PLT departures. PLT arrivals have now dropped in each of the past 12 months, when compared with the same months of the previous year, and PLT departures have increased in each of the past seven months.

The seasonally adjusted series recorded a net PLT inflow of 2,100 in February 2004, down from 2,600 in January 2004.

In the year ended February 2004, there was a net migration gain of 30,100 – 28 percent lower than the net inflow of 41,600 people in the previous February year. This resulted from 89,100 PL arrivals (down 9,600), and 59,000 PLT departures (up 1,900) in 2004. Compared with the February 2003 year, New Zealand citizen arrivals were up 1,600 and New Zealand citizen departures were down 1,600. In contrast, non-New Zealand citizen arrivals were down 11,200 and non-New Zealand citizen departures were up 3,500.

There were net inflows from China (8,300), India (4,500) and Japan (2,000) in the year ended February 2004. There was also a substantial net inflow from the United Kingdom (10,400), up 51 percent on the February 2003 year figure (6,900). Conversely, there was a net outflow to Australia of 10,600 in the February 2004 year, compared with net outflows of 11,500 in the February 2003 year and 17,300 in the February 2002 year.


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