Record arrivals near 3.7m

A record-breaking 3.68 million visitors arrived in New Zealand in the September 2017 year, up 9% on the previous 12 month period, according to Stats NZ latest travel and migration figures.

The rise was mostly due to increased visitor arrivals from Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom during the 12-month period.

“Visitors from Europe spent the longest time in New Zealand,” said Stats NZ’s population statistics senior manager, Peter Dolan.

“The average length of stay for visitors from Europe was 33 days. This reflects the long distance travelled to get here, plus increasing numbers of working holiday-makers.”

The average length of stay for all short-term visitors to New Zealand in the September 2017 year was 19 days. In the past 20 years, the average length of stay ranged between 19 days and 22 days, said Stats NZ.

Most visitor arrivals over the year were from Oceania, 45%, followed by Asia, 26%, and Europe, 16%. About 12% of visitor arrivals were from the Americas, and 1% were from Africa and the Middle East.

Visitor arrivals were up 3% to 252,7000 in September this year compared to the same month in 2016, with half of the total coming from Australia. China and Korea showed increased arrivals however the US market dropped slightly for the month.

Annual net migration was 71,000 in the September 2017 year with migrant arrivals 131,600 and migrant departures were 60,600.

“The annual net migration in September 2017 was lower than the record annual net migration of 72,400 reached in the July 2017 year,” said Dolan.

“Compared to this peak, we had fewer arrivals and more departures in the September 2017 year.”

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