Visitor arrivals numbered 256,700 in January 2010, the highest total recorded for a January month, Statistics New Zealand said today.
The number of international visitors increased by 12,600 (5 percent) from January 2009. The main contributor to the increase was more visitors from Australia (up 13,000 or 16 percent), continuing the large increases seen since April 2009. According to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australians departed on 8 percent more overseas trips in the last year.
Visitors from Korea increased 1,900 in January 2010, but remained less than half the January month peak seen in 2004. Similarly, visitor numbers from Japan remained less than half their January 2005 month peak, despite an increase of 1,200 in January 2010. There were fewer visitors from China (down
4,800), partly due to the later timing of Chinese New Year in 2010, compared with 2009.
There were 2.471 million visitor arrivals in the January 2010 year, 22,000 (1 percent) more than the 2.449 million in the January 2009 year and similar to the 2.472 million in the year ended January 2008.
Visitors from Australia were up 117,700 (12 percent) for the year, but this was offset by large decreases in visitors from the United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, and China.
New Zealand residents departed on 106,800 short-term overseas trips in January 2010, up 1,700 (2 percent) from January 2009. For the January 2010 year, short-term departures of New Zealand residents numbered 1.920 million, down 41,000 (2 percent) from the previous year.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, permanent and long-term (PLT) arrivals exceeded departures by 2,000 in the January 2010 month, similar to levels experienced since February 2009.
New Zealand's annual net migration balance was a gain of 22,600 in the January 2010 year, up from 4,500 in the previous January year, and the highest since the May 2004 year (24,000).
The higher net gain in the January 2010 year was driven by 20,200 fewer PLT departures, with PLT arrivals decreasing 2,200 over the same period. There were 17,500 fewer PLT departures to Australia in the January 2010 year, with decreases across all age groups.