Pacific Scoop

December visitor numbers reach new heights

Press Release – Statistics New Zealand

There were 529,300 visitor arrivals in December 2018, the highest for any month, Stats NZ said today.There were 529,300 visitor arrivals in December 2018, the highest for any month, Stats NZ said today.

December 2018’s figure was 15,900 higher than December 2017, which was the previous record holder.

Visitor arrivals in the December 2018 month averaged 17,100 a day. That’s equivalent to just over the population of Tauranga arriving every eight days in the month.

The United States led the increase in visitor arrivals for December 2018, up 4,900 compared with December 2017. Other changes were:

• Australia, up 2,300
• United Kingdom, up 2,100
• India, down 1,500.

Visitors stay for longer holidays in December

The median length of stay (half stayed longer than this time, half stayed less) for visitors arriving in December 2018 was 13 days. This compared with nine days for the 2018 year.

“Visitors tend to stay longer than usual in December months,” population insights senior manager Brooke Theyers said. “This is because more visitors visit family and friends, and fewer visitors arrive for business and conferences.”

Annual growth still high but slowing

In the year ended December 2018 there were 3.86 million visitor arrivals. This was up 129,500 from last year.

“Visitor numbers increased 3.5 percent in the year ended December 2018,” Ms Theyers said. “This brought visitor arrivals to this month’s record, but with the rate of increase not quite as large as in previous years.”
More resident travellers in December

There were 174,300 NZ-resident travellers who arrived back from overseas trips in December 2018, up 7,200 from December 2017. Most of the increase in resident arrivals was from Australia with 3,600. Other changes were:

• Indonesia, up 1,200

• Cook Islands, up 700

• United States, down 700.

Just over 3.02 million NZ-resident travellers returned from overseas trips in the December 2018 year. Most travellers arrived back from Australia, which accounted for 1.23 million resident arrivals. Other popular destinations for NZ-resident travellers were:

• United States, 215,000

• Fiji, 192,200

• China, 132, 500.

For NZ-resident travellers, the median length of absence (half were overseas longer than this time, half less) for the month of December was nine days.

This was slightly less than the 2018 year where the median length of absence was 10 days.

No more resident departure series

The loss of information from the removal of the departure card means Stats NZ will no longer provide resident departure series. Only resident departure totals will be provided.

From now on, resident arrivals will be the main source of information for NZ-resident traveller short-term travel movements.

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