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Rugby World Cup attracts 133,200 overseas visitors
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  22 November 2011

International Travel and Migration: October 2011  –  Media Release

Overseas visitors who arrived in New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup numbered 133,200, Statistics New Zealand said today. Of these, 53,200 arrived in October 2011, adding to 80,000 rugby arrivals between July and September.  

"Australia was the main source of arrivals for the Rugby World Cup, with 55,200 players, officials, and fans visiting from across the ditch," Population Statistics manager Andrea Blackburn said.

After Australia, most visitors arriving for the Rugby World Cup during the July–October period were from the United Kingdom (19,100), France (11,100), South Africa (8,500), the United States (5,500), and Ireland (4,300).

Visitors were asked to indicate on their arrival card whether they were in New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup. A small proportion of arrival cards did not include the Rugby World Cup question. As a result, some people may not have been included in the Rugby World Cup figures.

The influx of visitors for the Rugby World Cup led to a 17 percent increase in total visitor arrivals in October 2011, compared with October 2010. New Zealand residents took 4 percent more overseas trips, due to later school holidays that were timed to coincide with the Rugby World Cup finals.

First annual net loss of migrants since 2001

New Zealand had a net loss of 100 migrants in the October 2011 year, the first annual net loss since the September 2001 year. The latest figure resulted from 84,400 permanent and long-term departures slightly outnumbering 84,300 permanent and long-term arrivals.

New Zealand has experienced numerous periods of negative net migration. The last was between the July 1998 year and the September 2001 year, when the net loss peaked at 13,200 people in the February 2001 year. The highest net loss ever recorded was 43,600 people in the July 1979 year, which was followed by net losses throughout most of the 1980s.

New Zealand's net loss of migrants in the October 2011 year was due to a net loss of 35,000 people to Australia. This was only just below the highest-ever recorded net loss to Australia of 35,400 people in the December 2008 year. There were net gains of migrants from most other countries, led by the United Kingdom (5,700), India (5,100), and China (4,600).

Seasonally adjusted figures show that New Zealand had a net loss of migrants in 7 out of the 8 months since the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch. Unadjusted figures show that 6,000 Christchurch residents have moved overseas since the earthquake, compared with 3,700 during the same period in 2010. Migrants moving to Christchurch from overseas totalled 3,200 since 22 February 2011, compared with 4,300 during the same period last year.

Dallas Welch (Mrs) 22 November 2011
Acting Government Statistician

For media enquiries contact:
Nicholas Thomson
Christchurch 03 964 8700

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