Visitor Arrivals Up 9 Percent
There were 148,400 short-term overseas visitor arrivals in New Zealand in September 2003, up 12,300 or 9 percent on
September 2002, according to Statistics New Zealand.
In September 2003, there were more visitors from Australia (up 10,700 or 20 percent), the United Kingdom (up 1,700 or 16
percent), Malaysia (up 800 or 37 percent) and Korea (up 700 or 10 percent), but fewer visitors from China (down 900 or
14 percent) and Thailand (down 900 or 44 percent). The number of stay days for all visitor arrivals in September 2003
dropped by 2 percent on the previous September, from 3.05 million days to 2.99 million days. The average length of stay
was 20 days in September 2003, compared with 22 days in September 2002.
In the year ended September 2003, there were 2.058 million visitor arrivals, up 93,300 or 5 percent on the previous
September 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 52,400), the United
Kingdom (up 25,000), the United States (up 12,200), Korea (up 11,400) and Japan (up 5,200), compared with the year ended
Seasonally adjusted visitor arrivals were up 5 percent in September 2003, following a rise of 5 percent in August 2003,
when compared with the previous month.
New Zealand residents departed on 149,500 short-term overseas trips in September 2003, an increase of 10 percent or
13,200 on September 2002. This is the highest figure ever recorded for New Zealand resident departures. It exceeded the
previous record of 138,300, which was set in July 2003, by more than 11,000.
There were more trips to Australia (up 8,400), Fiji (up 2,000), India and the United States (both up 600). In contrast,
there were fewer trips to Indonesia (down 1,200) and Italy (down 400). In the year ended September 2003, New Zealand
resident short-term departures numbered 1.318 million, up 4 percent on the year ended September 2002.
Permanent and long-term (PLT) arrivals exceeded departures by 3,700 in September 2003, compared with 4,400 in the
previous September month. This decrease can be attributed to 700 fewer PLT arrivals. PLT arrivals have now dropped in
each of the past seven months, when compared with the same months of the previous year.
The seasonally adjusted series recorded a net PLT inflow of 2,400 in September 2003, down from 2,800 in August 2003.
In the year ended September 2003, there was a net migration gain of 40,400 – 9 percent higher than the net inflow of
37,100 people in the previous September year. This resulted from 95,500 PLT arrivals (up 100), and 55,100 PLT departures
(down 3,200) in 2003. Compared with the September 2002 year, New Zealand citizen departures were down 5,400 and New
Zealand citizen arrivals were up 2,200.
There were significant net inflows from China (13,000), India (5,500), Japan (2,300), Fiji (2,000), South Africa (1,800)
and Korea (1,700) in the year ended September 2003. There was also a substantial net inflow from the United Kingdom
(9,600), up 64 percent on the September 2002 year (5,900). Conversely, there was a net outflow to Australia of 9,300 in
the September 2003 year, compared with net outflows of 12,800 in the September 2002 year and 28,400 in the September
Statistics New Zealand began separately identifying permanent movements from long-term movements in July 2003. For the
September 2003 quarter, there were 22,100 PLT arrivals, with long-term visitors (8,700) slightly outnumbering permanent
migrants (8,600). A further 4,800 arrivals were classed as long-term New Zealand residents.