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Visitor Arrivals Up 23 Percent

21 May 2004

Visitor Arrivals Up 23 Percent

There were 184,400 short-term overseas visitor arrivals to New Zealand in April 2004, up 34,000 or 23 percent on April 2003, according to Statistics New Zealand. This is the largest month-on-month percentage increase for any month since April 1992, when arrivals increased by 27 percent on April 1991. In April 2004, there were more visitors from Australia (up 17,400 or 29 percent) and countries in Asia (up 10,300 or 33 percent) than in April 2003.

The number of stay days for all visitor arrivals in April 2004 increased by 7 percent on the previous April, from 3.05 million days to 3.25 million days. The average length of stay was 18 days in April 2004, compared with 20 days in April 2003. In the year ended April 2004, there were 2.197 million visitor arrivals, up 128,400 or 6 percent on the previous April year.

There were more visitors from Australia (up 109,100), the United Kingdom (up 30,600), the United States (up 4,800) and Germany (up 4,500), but fewer visitors from Japan (down 18,700), China (down 11,300) and Taiwan (down 7,300), compared with the year ended April 2003. Seasonally adjusted monthly visitor arrivals were up by 4 percent in April 2004, following a rise of 1 percent in March 2004. New Zealand residents departed on 144,100 short-term overseas trips in April 2004, an increase of 37 percent or 38,800 on April 2003. This is the largest percentage increase in resident departures since March 1996 (up 44 percent) and the largest absolute increase on record. There were more trips to Australia (up 19,600 or 34 percent), Fiji (up 2,700 or 54 percent) and the United States (up 2,100 or 43 percent).

In the year ended April 2004, New Zealand resident short-term departures numbered 1.472 million, up 14 percent on the year ended April 2003. Permanent and long-term (PLT) departures exceeded arrivals by 100 in April 2004, compared with an excess of 2,200 PLT arrivals over departures in April 2003.

This net PLT outflow can be attributed to 1,300 fewer PLT arrivals and 1,000 more PLT departures. The main reason for the drop in PLT arrivals was a fall in non-New Zealand citizen arrivals (down 1,000). China accounted for half of this drop, with 500 fewer arrivals, the majority of whom were from the 15–24 year age group. PLT arrivals have now dropped in each of the past 14 months when compared with the same month a year earlier, while PLT departures have increased in each of the past nine months.

The seasonally adjusted series recorded a net PLT inflow of 1,000 in April 2004, down from 1,200 in March 2004. In the year ended April 2004, there was a net PLT migration gain of 25,700. This is 39 percent lower than the net inflow of 42,000 people in the previous April year. This resulted from 86,200 PLT arrivals (down 12,000), and 60,500 PLT departures (up 4,400) in 2004. Compared with the April 2003 year, New Zealand citizen arrivals and New Zealand citizen departures were both up 600.

In contrast, non-New Zealand citizen arrivals were down 12,600 and non-New Zealand citizen departures were up 3,800. In the year ended April 2004, there was a net PLT inflow of 9,900 from the United Kingdom, up 28 percent on the April 2003 year figure (7,700). There was also a net inflow from China of 6,700, reduced from a net inflow of 15,400 in the April 2003 year. Overall, net PLT inflow from Asia has reduced considerably, from 32,100 in the April 2003 year, to 16,500 in the April 2004 year. Conversely, there was a net outflow to Australia of 11,400 in the April 2004 year.

Brian Pink Government Statistician


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