Rural

3.5 million visitor arrivals to New Zealand in 2016

Annual visitor arrivals for 2016 numbered almost 3.5 million, setting a new record, Statistics New Zealand said.

This was a 12 percent increase from 2015.

“People coming over for holidays made up more than half of the visits in 2016,” population statistics manager Jo-Anne Skinner said. “Almost three-quarters of holidaymakers stayed in New Zealand for a fortnight or less.”

Visitor arrivals numbered 494,200 in December 2016, setting a new monthly record. The latest month’s figure was up 11 percent from the previous record month of December 2015.

New Zealanders depart on highest-ever number of overseas trips.

New Zealand residents set a new annual record of 2.62 million overseas trips in 2016, up 9 percent from 2015.

In December 2016, New Zealand residents made a record 281,100 trips overseas, up 14 percent from December 2015.

Annual net migration continues to break record

A record 70,600 more migrants arrived in New Zealand than left in the 2016 calendar year, surpassing the previous annual record set in November 2016. The net gain reflected an increasing number of people arriving here and fewer leaving to live overseas.

“The increase in migrant arrivals was driven by an increase in people arriving with work visas,” Mrs Skinner said. “This more than offset a decrease in student arrivals in 2016.”

Migrant arrivals numbered 127,300 in 2016, a new annual record. Visa types contributing the most were:

  • Work visas (41,600, up 3,800 from 2015)
  • New Zealand and Australian citizens (37,700, up 2,000 from 2015)
  • Student visas (24,600, down 3,300 from 2015)
  • Residence visas (16,500, up 2,500 from 2015).

Migrant departures were 56,700 in 2016.

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