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Visitor Arrivals Up 2 Percent

Visitor Arrivals Up 2 Percent

There were 135,400 short-term overseas visitor arrivals in New Zealand in August 2003, up 2,100 or 2 percent on August 2002, according to Statistics New Zealand. This is the first month since April 2003 that arrivals have been greater than in the same month of the previous year.

In August 2003, there were more visitors from Australia (up 6,500 or 14 percent) and the United Kingdom (up 2,000 or 19 percent), but fewer visitors from Asia (down 6,300 or 16 percent) compared with August 2002. Within this region there were fewer visitors from Japan (down 2,700 or 18 percent), China (down 1,800 or 32 percent), Taiwan (down 800 or 28 percent) and Singapore (down 700 or 29 percent).

Outside of Asia there were fewer visitors from the United States (down 700 or 6 percent). The number of stay days for all visitor arrivals in August 2003 dropped 9 percent on the previous August, from 2.70 million days to 2.45 million days, while the average length of stay was 18 days in August 2003, compared with 20 days in August 2002.

In the year ended August 2003, there were 2.046 million visitor arrivals, up 85,900 or 4 percent on the previous August year. Holidaymakers accounted for 52 percent of the overseas visitors, while 27 percent came to visit friends and relatives and 10 percent came for business reasons. There were more visitors from Australia (up 38,200), the United Kingdom (up 24,600), the United States (up 13,400), Korea (up 12,000) and Japan (up 6,700), compared with the year ended August 2002.

Seasonally adjusted visitor arrivals were up 2 percent in August 2003, following a drop of less than 1 percent in July 2003, when compared with the previous month.

New Zealand residents departed on 125,300 short-term overseas trips in August 2003, an increase of 4 percent or 4,900 on August 2002. There were more trips to the United States (up 1,300), Australia (up 800), Malaysia (up 700) and China (up 500). In contrast there were fewer trips to Indonesia (down 700), Canada (down 400), the Cook Islands (down 400) and Japan (down 300).

In the year ended August 2003, New Zealand resident short-term departures numbered 1.305 million, up 3 percent on the year ended August 2002.

Permanent and long-term (PLT) arrivals exceeded departures by 2,200 in August 2003, compared with 3,100 in the previous August month. Two factors contributed to this decrease: there were 600 fewer PLT arrivals and 400 more PLT departures. This is the first increase in PLT departures for more than two years (since May 2001), when compared with the same month of the previous year, while PLT arrivals have now dropped in each of the past six months.

The seasonally adjusted series recorded a net PLT inflow of 2,500 in August 2003, down from 2,800 in July 2003.

In the year ended August 2003, there was a net migration gain of 41,200 – 14 percent higher than the net inflow of 36,200 people in the previous August year. This resulted from 96,200 PLT arrivals (up 1,300), and 55,100 PLT departures (down 3,700) in 2003. Compared with the August 2002 year, New Zealand citizen departures were down 5,700, and non-New Zealand citizen arrivals were down 700.

There were significant net inflows from China (13,600), India (5,800), Japan (2,300), Fiji (2,000), South Africa (1,900) and Korea (1,700) in the year ended August 2003. There was also a substantial net inflow from the United Kingdom (9,200), up 61 percent on the August 2002 year (5,700). Conversely, there was a net outflow to Australia of 9,500 in the August 2003 year, compared with net outflows of 13,100 in the August 2002 year and 29,100 in the August 2001 year.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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