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Visitor arrivals dip down in March

Visitor arrivals dip down in March

14 May 2019

Visitor arrivals in March 2019 were down 10,100 compared with the same month last year, Stats NZ said today.

The total number of visitor arrivals was 378,300 in March 2019.

Visitor arrivals were down for most countries compared with the same month last year. The largest drops were in arrivals from:
• Australia (down 12,600)
• United Kingdom (down 4,400)
• Hong Kong (down 2,800)
• China (down 2,400).

“Although visitor arrivals in March 2019 were down compared with March 2018, they actually tracked higher for the first three weeks of March,” said population insights senior manager Brooke Theyers.

“However, visitor numbers are much lower compared with the latter half of March 2018.”

March visitor numbers are likely affected by the timing of the Easter holiday – late March in 2018 and mid-April in 2017 and 2019. The 15 March 2019 mosque attacks in Christchurch may have had some impact on visitor numbers. A clearer picture should emerge over the coming months.

Total visitor arrivals for the year ended March 2019 were 3.87 million, up 47,900 (1.3 percent) from the year ended March 2018.

United States props up otherwise down month

An exception to the general decrease in visitor numbers in March 2019 were visitors from the United States. These were up 7,700 (19 percent) compared with the same month last year.

Most visitors from the US flew in through Auckland airport, which had 39,100 visitor arrivals from the US in March 2019. Other ports were:

• Christchurch, with 3,200 visitor arrivals from the US
• Queenstown, with 2,800
• Dunedin seaport, with 1,600.

A new direct route between Chicago and Auckland began flying from 30 November 2018. Since its inception it has accounted for an additional 6,800 visitor arrivals from the US, 1,800 of whom arrived in March 2019.

Visitor arrivals from the US were up 22,200 in the year ended March 2019, a total increase of 6.5 percent compared with the year ended March 2018.

More Kiwis fly back from Australia

There were 195,000 New Zealand-resident traveller arrivals in March 2019, up 11,800 from the same month last year. Compared with March 2018 there were 7,200 more New Zealand-resident travellers who arrived back from Australia. Other major changes in New Zealand-resident traveller arrivals were from:

• India (up 1,500)
• Indonesia (up 1,400)
• Fiji (up 1,000).

The total number of New Zealand-resident traveller arrivals for the year ended March 2019 was 3.05 million, up 175,300 from the year ended March 2018.

The Government Statistician authorises all statistics and data we publish.

For more information about these statistics:

• Visit International travel: March 2019
• See CSV files for download


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