NZ attracting more visitors

Last updated 12:44 20/12/2013

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Short-term visits to New Zealand hit record levels for a November, increasing 8 per cent on last year.

A total of 251,100 people visited the country last month, with holidaymakers accounting for most of the increase.

Most of the extra visitors were from Australia, the United States and Germany, Statistics New Zealand said.

The number of Chinese visitors fell nearly 16 per cent because of a new restriction in China on low-cost shopping trips.

Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said the 8 per cent jump in arrivals gave the sector a strong lead into the summer season.

"Very positively, the growth is driven by a continued recovery in our long-staying traditional markets, with arrivals from the US up 28.4 per cent, Canada up 27.6 per cent and Germany up 23.7 per cent," he said.

New Zealand's biggest visitor market, Australia, was up 7.5 per cent for the month.

Visitors during the November year hit 2.7 million, up 5 per cent, with Australian and Chinese visitors leading the way.

Arrivals from North America were also well up, which Bowler said was only partly because of increased cruise ship visits.

The figures showed migration to New Zealand continued to rise - a net 2800 migrants last month, well up from a net loss of 100 in December last year.

Migration to Australia continued to decline, with a net 1000 people leaving for that country last month.

The flow of Kiwis across the Tasman has fallen steadily since December last year, and in the November year dropped to 22,100 migrants, compared with 38,800 a year earlier.

Total migrant arrivals in the year to November were 93,000, the highest since November 2003.

After migration departures was stripped out, the country had a net gain of 19,500, compared with a net loss of 1600 the previous year.

Migrants from Britain, China and India led the way.

During the year, Kiwi residents left on slightly more overseas trips.

They took 2.1 million overseas trips in the year to November, a 1 per cent increase.

About half went to Australia, and the US, Fiji and Britain were the next most popular destinations.

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- Fairfax Media

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