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Record-breaking 3.7 million visitors to New Zealand

A record-breaking 3.68 million visitors arrived in New Zealand in the September 2017 year, Stats NZ said today. This was a 9 percent increase from the September 2016 year. The rise was mostly due to increased visitor arrivals from Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

In September 2017, 252,700 visitors arrived in New Zealand. This was 3 percent more than in September 2016. Half of the visitor arrivals were from Australia. 

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. 

"Visitors from Europe spent the longest time in New Zealand," population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said. "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."

Visitors arriving from Oceania stayed for an average of 12 days, the shortest average length of stay. 

Half of all visitors to New Zealand stayed for less than nine days in the September 2017 year. Visitor arrivals from Europe, and Africa and the Middle East had the highest median stays, of 19 days and 16 days respectively. This was followed by the Americas (10 days), Asia (eight days) and Oceania (seven days).

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

The length of stay is based on stated information on the arrival cards. It is an important measure because it affects overall tourist spending in New Zealand. 

See Tourism Satellite Account: 2016 for information on the changing levels and impact of tourism activity. 

New Zealand residents departed on 273,600 overseas trips

Kiwis departed on 273,600 trips overseas in September 2017, up 2 percent from September 2016. The biggest increases in resident departures were to Fiji, the United Kingdom, and China. The biggest decreases were to Australia and the United States of America. Trips to Australia saw a large drop of 7,200.

New Zealand residents took a record 2.79 million overseas trips in the September 2017 year, up 10 percent from the September 2016 year. Of all resident departures, 43 percent were for holidays and 37 percent were for visiting friends and relatives.

See also:


For media enquiries contact: Kim Dunstan 03 964 8330, or James Weir 0210285 9191;
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 20 October 2017

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