Record visitor numbers in January

Last updated 11:37 27/02/2014

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Chinese New Year celebrations helped lift the number of visitors coming to New Zealand to a record in January.

A total of 292,400 visitors arrived last month, up 12 per cent on the same month a year ago and the highest number ever for January.

Statistics New Zealand population statistics manager Andrea Blackburn said the number was boosted by Chinese New Year falling at the end of January.

"New Zealand saw more visitors arrive from China and Hong Kong this month, compared with January 2013, due to the earlier timing of Chinese New Year ... a popular time for travel to New Zealand," Blackburn said.

Visitor numbers from Australia, Britain and Germany were also up last month, compared to January 2013.

For the year to January, 2014, 2.75 million visitors arrived, which was 7 per cent more than in the previous period.

But New Zealanders also took more trips last month, as 127,800 residents departed in January. This was up 6 per cent on January last year, and in the past year New Zealanders took 2.2 million trips.

The most common destinations were Australia, accounting for nearly half the trips, followed by the United States, Fiji, and Britain.

January also had the highest migration gain in more than 10 years, with a net 3100 gain recorded last month.

Statistics New Zealand said this was chiefly due to fewer citizens leaving for Australia, though there was a net loss of 17,100 migrants across the Tasman in the January year.

The overall migration trend, however, had mostly been increasing since September 2012.

For the year to January, there was a net migration gain of 25,700, which was well up on the net migration of zero for the January, 2013, year.

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- Fairfax Media

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