Monthly visitor arrivals
Short-term overseas visitor arrivals to New Zealand numbered 197,800 in April 2011, up 5 percent from the April 2010 total of 188,000. The later timing of Easter and the Australian school holidays in 2011 contributed to the increase. These holiday periods fell earlier in 2010, resulting in more arrivals in the last week of March of that year rather than in April.
Seasonally adjusted figures – which adjust for changes in the timing of holiday periods as well as for regular seasonal variation – showed an 8 percent increase between March and April 2011. This is a recovery after a 12 percent decrease between January and March 2011, influenced by the Christchurch earthquake on 22 February.
Monthly visitors by source country
In April 2011, more visitors arrived from Australia (up 8,100) and the United Kingdom (up 2,900), influenced by the later timing of holiday periods in 2011. When March and April 2011 are combined to account for the shift in timing of the holidays, visitor numbers from Australia and the United Kingdom were lower than in the same months of 2010.
Visitors from Malaysia doubled – from 1,700 in April 2010 to 3,400 in April 2011 – following the launch of flights between Kuala Lumpur and Christchurch in April 2011, and additional flights between Singapore and Auckland that began in March 2011.
Fewer visitors arrived from Japan (down 2,800), Korea (down 2,500), and Thailand (down 1,600) in April 2011. Sharp decreases in visitors from Japan and Korea began after the Christchurch earthquake on 22 February, and may have been further affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on 11 March.
Note: Provisional international travel statistics, including weekly and four-weekly visitor arrival data, are available on the Statistics NZ website. This data is updated each week with the most recently available information on visitor arrivals from 10 major source countries.
Annual visitor arrivals
Annual visitor arrivals to New Zealand numbered 2.516 million in the year ended April 2011, up 25,300 (1 percent) from 2010 (2.491 million).
Almost half of all visitors in the April 2011 year arrived for a holiday (1.189 million). Another 792,800 arrived to visit friends and relatives, and 248,600 arrived for business purposes.
Compared with the April 2010 year, there were more visitor arrivals from China (up 29,500), Korea (up 3,800), Malaysia (up 3,800), Japan (up 3,700), and India (up 3,500). Fewer visitors arrived from the United Kingdom (down 28,800) and the United States (down 3,800).
Detailed tables about visitor arrivals
The International Visitor Arrivals to New Zealand report, released monthly, contains detailed tables about the number and characteristics of visitor arrivals to New Zealand. The April 2011 report will be available from 24 May 2011 and accessible from the International Visitor Arrivals to New Zealand homepage on the Statistics NZ website (www.stats.govt.nz).
Departures of New Zealand residents
Monthly resident departures
New Zealand residents departed on 182,600 short-term overseas trips in April 2011, up 12 percent from the 163,000 trips in April 2010. The increase was largely due to the later timing of Easter and the school holidays in 2011. These holiday periods fell earlier in 2010, resulting in more departures at the end of March of that year rather than in April.
A large increase was recorded in short-term departures from Christchurch in March 2011, following the earthquake which hit the city on 22 February 2011. However, the 13 percent increase in overseas trips by Christchurch residents in April 2011 was similar to the national increase (12 percent).
From New Zealand as a whole, there were more trips to Australia (up 4,800), the United Kingdom (up 3,300), China (up 2,400), and Fiji (up 2,100) in April 2011, compared with April 2010. New flights to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur contributed to a 54 percent increase in trips to southeast Asia, which included more departures to Malaysia (up 1,300), Thailand, and Viet Nam (each up 1,000).
Note: Provisional international travel statistics, including weekly and four-weekly resident departure data, are available on the Statistics NZ website. This data is updated each week with the most recently available information on resident departures to 10 major destination countries.
Annual resident departures
Short-term departures of New Zealand residents in the April 2011 year numbered 2.057 million, up 112,700 (6 percent) from the April 2010 year.
Almost half of all trips in the year ended April 2011 were to Australia (985,700). The next most popular destinations were the United States (99,100), Fiji (98,700), the United Kingdom (93,900), China (67,300), the Cook Islands (61,700), and Samoa (44,200).
A holiday was the main travel purpose for 824,500 New Zealand residents who departed in the April 2011 year. Another 708,200 departed to visit friends and relatives and 290,400 departed for business.
Permanent and long-term migration
Permanent and long-term (PLT) arrivals include people who arrive in New Zealand intending to stay for a period of 12 months or more (or permanently), plus New Zealand residents returning after an absence of 12 months or more. PLT arrivals may include people with New Zealand residency, as well as students and holders of work permits. PLT departures include New Zealand residents departing for an intended period of 12 months or more (or permanently), plus overseas visitors departing New Zealand after a stay of 12 months or more.
Monthly PLT migration
On a seasonally adjusted basis, there was a net outflow of 100 migrants in April 2011. This is a partial recovery after this series fell from a net inflow of 500 in February 2011 to a net outflow of 500 in March 2011. The decrease between February and March was mainly due to a jump in departures from Christchurch, following the earthquake that damaged many homes and businesses in the city on 22 February.
On an unadjusted basis, there were 1,600 more PLT departures than arrivals in April 2011, compared with 600 more departures than arrivals in April 2010. The main contributor to the higher net outflow was 1,500 more departures of New Zealand citizens to Australia. This was partly offset by 500 more arrivals of non-New Zealand citizens.
PLT departures of Christchurch residents numbered 800 in April 2011, up from 400 in April 2010. PLT arrivals into the city decreased from 500 to 400 over the same period. Since the earthquake on 22 February, there have been 1,000 more departures from Christchurch and 300 fewer arrivals into Christchurch compared with the same period in 2010.
In April 2011, New Zealand recorded net inflows of migrants from India (400), China, and Japan (each 300). The net outflow of 3,200 PLT migrants to Australia was up from 1,500 in April 2010, and was the highest for an April month since 2008 (also 3,200).
Annual PLT migration
Net migration was 5,500 in the year ended April 2011, compared with 20,000 in the April 2010 year. The 83,500 PLT arrivals in the April 2011 year were just below the 83,600 arrivals in the April 2010 year. The 77,900 PLT departures were up 22 percent.
The net PLT migration gain of 5,500 in the April 2011 year was below the annual average gain for the December years 1991–2010 (12,000). Net PLT migration varied substantially within this 20-year period. The net gain peaked at 30,200 in the April 1996 year and again at 42,500 in the May 2003 year. Net outflows were experienced during most of 1998–2001. The largest was a net loss of 13,200 people in the February 2001 year.
Annual PLT migration by country
In the April 2011 year, the highest net inflow of migrants was from India (6,000). This was followed by the United Kingdom (4,900), and China (4,000).
The net PLT outflow to Australia was 27,000 in the April 2011 year – between the outflows in 2009 (32,000) and 2010 (14,800). The latest net outflow resulted from 42,400 departures to Australia being partly offset by 15,400 arrivals from Australia. In both directions, most migrants were New Zealand citizens.
Annual PLT migration by citizenship
There was a net outflow of 27,200 New Zealand citizens in the April 2011 year, up from 12,500 in the April 2010 year. The net inflow of 32,700 non-New Zealand citizens was just above the previous year's figure of 32,400.
PLT arrivals of New Zealand citizens numbered 24,200 in the April 2011 year, above the average of 23,500 recorded for the 1979–2010 December years, but below the peaks of the March 1991 year (29,600) and the October 2003 year (27,800). Arrivals of New Zealand citizens tend to show relatively little variation year-to-year, and the variation that does occur often follows trends in departures of New Zealand citizens a few years earlier.
PLT departures of New Zealand citizens show much more annual variation than arrivals of New Zealand citizens. The highest number of departures of New Zealand citizens was 64,300 in the October 1979 year, but by the January 1984 year, this had decreased to a low of 24,400. PLT departures of New Zealand citizens numbered 51,400 in the year ended April 2011.
PLT arrivals of non-New Zealand citizens were less than 30,000 a year between 1979 and 1992, then doubled to reach a peak of 58,800 in the July 1996 year. Another peak of 72,800 was reached in the February 2003 year. The changes in arrivals of non-New Zealand citizens reflect changes in arrivals of temporary workers (including working holidaymakers) and overseas students staying for 12 months or more; as well as arrivals for residence. The 59,300 non-New Zealand citizen arrivals in the April 2011 year were up from 57,200 arrivals in the previous year.
PLT departures of non-New Zealand citizens have generally been increasing since 1984, corresponding with the general increase in arrivals of non-New Zealand citizens. In the April 2011 year, there were 26,500 PLT departures of non-New Zealand citizens, up from 24,800 in the April 2010 year.
Annual PLT migration by visa type
In the April 2011 year, 28,300 PLT arrivals were Australian or New Zealand citizens. Of the remaining 55,200 migrants, most arrived on:
- work visas (20,700)
- student visas (16,800)
- residence visas (12,800)
- visitor visas (4,200).
Compared with 2010, more migrants arrived on student (up 1,700), work (up 400), and visitor (up 200) visas. Fewer migrants arrived on residence visas (down 600).
Recent international travel and migration articles
Statistics NZ has released a number of International travel and migration articles that can be accessed on the Statistics NZ website (www.stats.govt.nz). The most recent articles are:
For technical information contact:
Christchurch 03 964 8700
Next release ...
International Travel and Migration: May 2011 will be released on 21 June 2011.