MBIE - Lions supporters prop up visitor arrivals

A surge in visitors from the United Kingdom and Ireland arriving for the British and Irish Lions rugby tour helped boost total overseas visitor arrivals in June 2017.

Total overseas visitor arrivals reached 230,100 in June 2017, up 33,900 (17 percent) from June 2016, with visitor arrivals from the UK and Ireland accounting for 49 percent of the rise. UK and Irish visitor arrivals numbered 23,400 in June 2017, up 16,700 from June 2016.

“June 2017 had the second-highest number of monthly UK and Irish visitor arrivals for a June month ever,” population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said. “The highest was in June 2005 when arrivals reached 28,200, which also coincided with the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.”

Before the tour began, Tourism New Zealand estimated that 20,000 Lions supporters would travel to New Zealand, with 15,000 expected from the UK.

Visitor arrivals for the June 2017 year reached a new record high of 3.6 million, up 337,800 (10 percent) from the June 2016 year.

Annual resident departures reach new record

For the June 2017 year, overseas trips by New Zealand residents reached a new record high of 2.7 million, up 282,200 (11 percent) from the June 2016 year. 

Of the 2.7 million resident departures, 44 percent were to Australia.

Trips overseas by New Zealand residents in the June 2017 month totalled 261,800 (up 9 percent from the June 2016 month).

Short-term travellers or migrants?

International migration statistics rely on the information provided on passenger cards at the time of travel. The reported intended length of stay in New Zealand, or intended time away from New Zealand, largely determines whether the passenger is a short-term traveller or a migrant. Generally, visitor arrivals and resident departures are those intending to stay or be away for less than one year; migrants are those intending to stay or be away for more than one year.

See also: 

International Travel and Migration: June 2017 for more data and analysis 

Migration reaches another record high – media release.