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More visitors for Chinese New Year
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  22 March 2013

International Travel and Migration: February 2013  –  Media Release

Visitor arrivals in February 2013 (281,200) were up 9 percent from February 2012, driven by more arrivals during the Chinese New Year period, Statistics New Zealand said today.

"The first day of the Year of the Snake was celebrated on the 10th of February this year, while in 2012, the Year of the Dragon started in January," population statistics manager Andrea Blackburn said. "The change in timing resulted in more visitors arriving from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan than in February last year."

In February 2013 compared with February 2012, there were also more visitors from the United States and Japan, but fewer from Korea and the United Kingdom.

In the February 2013 year, 2.581 million visitors arrived in New Zealand, down 1 percent from the February 2012 year, which included arrivals for the Rugby World Cup. The largest increases were in the number of visitors from China and Japan, countered by decreases from the United Kingdom, France, and South Africa.

New Zealand residents departed on 110,700 overseas trips in February 2013. This was fewer than the 116,400 trips taken in February 2012, but more than the 103,500 trips in February 2011.

In the February 2013 year, New Zealand residents departed on 2.155 million overseas trips, up 2 percent from the previous year. The biggest increases were in trips to the United States (up 15,100) and the Cook Islands (up 5,600). Trips to the United States were helped by a favourable currency exchange rate.

Net gain of 600 migrants in February

New Zealand had a seasonally adjusted net gain (more arrivals than departures) of 600 migrants in February 2013. The seasonally adjusted net loss to Australia was 2,400 in February 2013, the smallest net loss since January 2011.

In the February 2013 year, New Zealand had a net gain of 1,200 migrants, up from zero in the January 2013 year. This follows annual net losses of migrants in the period from the October 2011 year to the December 2012 year.

The net loss of migrants to Australia in the February 2013 year was 36,700, down from the record of 40,000 in the August 2012 year. The February 2013 annual figure resulted from 52,100 departures to Australia, offset by 15,400 arrivals. In both directions, most migrants were New Zealand citizens.

There were net gains of migrants from most other countries, led by the United Kingdom (5,900), China (5,400), and India (4,900).


For media enquiries contact: Authorised by:

Megan Murphy 
Christchurch 03 964 8700
Published 22 March 2013

Geoff Bascand
Government Statistician
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