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International travellers increased in September 2022 but were still below the numbers in September month pre-COVID, said Stats NZ today (15 November 2022).
In a report released today, Stats NZ, the official data agency of New Zealand, revealed that the number of overall overseas visitors to New Zealand was 151,300 in September 2022, up from 129,800 in August 2022. However, the September figures are still 58% of the total number of visitors who arrived in September 2019.
The international arrivals included those living overseas and visiting for less than 12 months and include mostly New Zealand citizens and non-New Zealand citizens.
Of late, as per Stats NZ, most international arrivals have been non-New Zealand citizens. This is different from 2020 and 2021, when most overseas arrivals were NZ citizens.
Break-up for international visitors in September 2022:
Although the number of visitors from Australia was the maximum, the number of visitors from other countries also showed an increase since the borders started opening u in March 2022.
Further, the Ministers of Tourism and Immigration Stuart Nash and Michael Woods said that the towns and cities should gear up for a busy summer season ahead.
In a statement to the press today, they said that it was positive news for the strength of the New Zealand economy as the tourism sector is a major contributor to the economy. Before COVID-19, it was New Zealand largest export industry and delivered NZ$40.9 billion to the country’s economy.
As per the release, New Zealand expects it to be bumper summer for international arrivals and spending to increase in a big way.
Simultaneously with the increase in the number of international travellers, the number of electronic card transactions was also up in September.
Nash also said that domestic tourists too have contributed to the overall growth of this sector. The nationwide domestic electronic transactions were up by 30% compared with 2019.
Immigration figures also indicate that more visitors are choosing to come to New Zealand.
As per the figures, over 17,000 working holiday visitors have arrived in the country, out of the 36,000 approved since March. They have been providing much-needed labour in times of global shortages.
As per Nash, since the beginning of November New Zealand has seen weekly arrivals of 1,200 visa holders. He said the working holiday visa holder category of arrivals plays a crucial part in the economy as these arrivals provide labour support in industries like tourism, agriculture, and horticulture.
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