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April visitor arrivals ease due to earlier holidays
Monday 21 May 2012, 11:51AM
By Statistics New Zealand

Visitors to New Zealand decreased 1 percent in April 2012, compared with April 2011, Statistics New Zealand said today. As Easter and Australian school holidays fell earlier in 2012, more people travelled in March and fewer travelled in April, compared with 2011. Even though Easter started on 6 April this year (compared with 22 April last year), more people generally travel in the lead up to holiday periods.

"Combining the number of visitors in March and April, there were 22,300 more visitors in 2012 than in 2011," Population Indicators project manager Susan Hollows said. "This overall increase was influenced by the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, which contributed to a decrease in visitor numbers in 2011."

Visitors from China were up 7,900 in April 2012 compared with April 2011. The number of holiday visitors from China doubled, from 6,700 to 14,000. Arrivals from Australia (down 6,800) and the United Kingdom (down 5,900) were affected by the earlier holidays.

In the April 2012 year, 2.616 million visitors arrived in New Zealand, up 4 percent from 2011. The largest increases were in visitors from Australia, China, and Malaysia. The largest decrease was in visitors from Japan.

New Zealand residents took 183,200 overseas trips in April 2012, similar to the number of trips taken in April 2011 (182,600). This was despite earlier Easter and school holidays, which contributed to a 7 percent increase in overseas trips during March 2012, compared with March 2011. In the April 2012 year, New Zealand residents took 2.127 million overseas trips, up 3 percent from 2011.

Fewer arrivals result in net loss of migrants

New Zealand had a seasonally adjusted net loss (excess of departures over arrivals) of 800 migrants in April 2012. This follows a net loss of 300 in February 2012 and a net gain of 200 in March 2012. The changes have been driven by short-term fluctuations in arrivals.

New Zealand had a net loss of 4,000 migrants in the April 2012 year. There has been an annual net loss of migrants since the October 2011 year, peaking at 4,100 in the February 2012 year.

The net loss to Australia in the April 2012 year was 39,800, the highest ever recorded. Annual outflows to Australia have been at record levels since the November 2011 year. In the latest year, there were 53,500 departures to Australia (also a record), offset by 13,700 arrivals from Australia. In both directions, most migrants were New Zealand citizens.

There were net gains of migrants from most other countries, led by the United Kingdom (5,500), India (5,100), China (5,000), and the Philippines (2,100).

See also:
International Travel and Migration: April 2012  –  Information release INDEX