Australians drive visitor arrivals to record 3.69 million

Australian tourists and visitors pushed total arrivals to New Zealand to a record 3.69 million for the year to October, up 8% on the previous corresponding period, according to Stats NZ’s latest travel and migration report.

The new annual record beat the year to September’s 3.67 million.

“Over the past five years, annual visitor arrivals have regularly hit record highs, and have risen by over one million, or 40% , since the upward trend began in 2013,” said Stats NZ’s population statistics senior manager, Peter Dolan.

The total number of visitors from Australia in the year to October rose 5.3% to 1.46 million, compared to the previous 12 months. There were 590,700 holidaymakers from Australia during the period, up 6.7%, and arrivals to visit friends and family were up 3.7% to 563,900.

Holidaymakers from the United States also increased, up 19% to 207,600 in the October 2017 year.

People living in New Zealand took a record 2.83 million overseas trips in the October 2017 year, up 11% on the previous year. Australia was the top destination, with 1.21 million trips there by New Zealanders in the year to October.

Stats NZ said annual resident departures have been at record highs since the year ended September 2014.

Permanent and long-term arrivals for the month of October were 131,600, up 5,500 or 4% companred to the smae month last year. Permanent and long-term departures were 61,000, up 5,100 or 9 percent, resulting in a net gain in migrants of 70,700 for the month, up 400 on October 2016.

Net migration remained high by historical standards but was lower than the peak of 72,400 in the July 2017 year, said Stats NZ.

“Non-New Zealand citizen migrant arrivals continued to drive the high net migration levels,” said Dolan. “The fall in annual net migration from the peak in the July 2017 year was mainly caused by an increase in non-New Zealand citizen migrant departures.”

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