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Visitor arrivals from Asia decrease

Embargoed until 10:45am – 19 December 2008

Visitor arrivals from Asia decrease

Short-term overseas visitor arrivals (219,300) in November 2008 were down 4 percent compared with November 2007, driven by 11,300 fewer visitors from Asia, Statistics New Zealand said today. The main contributors to the decrease were fewer arrivals from Japan (down 6,900 or 46 percent), Korea (down 3,800 or 43 percent) and China (down 2,400 or 18 percent). The decrease in visitors from Japan was mainly due to the cancellation of student charter flights to New Zealand. The 2.454 million visitor arrivals recorded in the November 2008 year were down 13,900 (1 percent) from the previous November year.

New Zealand residents departed on 155,200 short-term overseas trips in November 2008, down 4,300 (3 percent) from November 2007. In November 2008, there were fewer trips to Australia (down 4,700 or 6 percent) and the United States (down 900 or 15 percent), but more departures to the Cook Islands (up 600 or 15 percent), India (up 500 or 12 percent), and Fiji (up 500 or 10 percent). For the November 2008 year, New Zealand resident departures numbered 1.979 million, up 8,500 (less than 1 percent) from the previous year.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, permanent and long-term (PLT) departures exceeded PLT arrivals by 600 for the month of November 2008.

In the November 2008 year, there was a net outflow of 35,300 PLT migrants to Australia, up from 27,200 the previous year. The November 2008 year net outflow to Australia is the highest recorded, and exceeds previous peaks recorded in the January 1989 year (33,700) and the December 1979 year (33,400). The net figure (the difference between arrivals and departures) in the November 2008 year resulted from 48,500 PLT departures to Australia, partly offset by 13,200 PLT arrivals from Australia. Almost two-thirds of PLT arrivals from Australia were New Zealand citizens.

Despite the net PLT outflow to Australia, New Zealand's overall net PLT migration balance (3,600) was positive in the November 2008 year. However, the balance was down from 6,600 in the November 2007 year, and was the lowest annual figure since the October 2001 year (1,700).

Geoff Bascand
Government Statistician
19 December 2008


See also the Hot Off The Press information release International Travel and Migration: November 2008 [PDF].



International Travel and Migration: November 2008 Highlights

Visitor arrivals (219,300) were down 4 percent from November 2007 (228,800).

Fewer visitors arrived from Japan (down 6,900), Korea (down 3,800), and China (down 2,400).

New Zealand resident departures (155,200) were down 3 percent from November 2007 (159,500).

New Zealand residents departed on fewer trips to Australia (down 4,700) and the United States (down 900).

Permanent and long-term departures exceeded arrivals by 600 on a seasonally adjusted basis.

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