Overseas visitor arrivals in New Zealand show significant uptick

Overseas visitor arrivals in New Zealand increased in September 2022 but are still below the numbers seen in the same month before the Covid-19 pandemic, the country's statistics department Stats NZ said on Tuesday.

Wellington:  Overseas visitor arrivals in New Zealand increased in September 2022 but are still below the numbers seen in the same month before the Covid-19 pandemic, the country’s statistics department Stats NZ said on Tuesday.

There were 151,300 overseas visitor arrivals in September 2022, up from 129,800 in August 2022, Xinhua news agency quoted Stats NZ as saying.

About 70 per cent of the visitors were from Australia.

The September 2022 figure is 58 per cent of the 261,800 overseas visitor arrivals in September 2019, before the pandemic, statistics show.

Overseas visitor arrivals are people living overseas who are travelling to New Zealand for a stay of fewer than 12 months.

They include both New Zealand citizens and non-New Zealand citizens, according to Stats NZ.

“In recent months, most of the visitor arrivals have been non-New Zealand citizens,” population indicators manager Tehseen Islam said, adding this is a reversal of the pattern during most of 2020 and 2021 when a large share of visitor arrivals were New Zealand citizens.

Although overseas visitors from Australia continue to dominate, visitors from other countries have increased as border restrictions have gradually relaxed from March 2022.

There was a provisional net migration loss of 8,400 in the September 2022 year, Stats NZ said, adding that this was made up of 69,100 migrant arrivals and 77,500 migrant departures, Stats NZ said.

New Zealand should be prepping for a busy summer season due to the continued growth in international visitors, said Tourism Minister Stuart Nash.

Overseas visitor numbers for the month of September showed a significant uptick, while a decline in the net migration loss showed more people are choosing to stay in New Zealand, he said.

This is consistent with migration patterns between 2002 and the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, where New Zealand had an annual net loss of citizens, and an annual net gain of non-New Zealand citizens, the Minister noted.

“This summer is going to be a bumper one for our tourism sector with international arrivals spending big across the whole of New Zealand,” Nash said.

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