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Overseas trips by New Zealand residents take off

-Press Release

Wednesday 20th June 2007

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New Zealand residents departed on 171,300 short-term trips in May 2007, up 23,400 (16%) on the 147,900 departures in May 2006, Statistics New Zealand said today.

This is a record number of departures for the month of May, and the largest monthly increase since December 2004. Half of the increase was in trips to Australia (up 12,300 or 17%) while there were also more trips to the Cook Islands, the United States, China, the United Kingdom and Samoa.

Trips to Spain doubled, from 700 in May 2006 to 1,400 in May 2007, coinciding with the Louis Vuitton Cup yachting regatta in Valencia. However, departures to Fiji (down 800 or 9%) continued to be affected by the political situation in that country.

In the May 2007 year, New Zealand residents departed on 1.904 million trips, up 31,400 (2%) on the previous year. Trips by New Zealand residents have almost doubled in the past 11 years, from 982,300 in the May 1996 year.

Visitor arrivals in May 2007 totalled 140,800, up 5,500 (4%) on May 2006 despite the high currency exchange rates. In the year ended May 2007, there were 2.452 million visitor arrivals, up 56,900 (2%) on the previous year.

Much of the increase was in visitors from Australia (up 34,300) and China (up 18,800), while there were fewer visitors from Japan (down 19,800). On a seasonally adjusted basis, permanent and long-term arrivals exceeded departures by 400 in May 2007.

This series had been above 1,000 for the June to December 2006 months. Actual permanent and long-term departures of New Zealand citizens to Australia were up 500 compared with May 2006. Net permanent and long-term migration was 10,700 in the May 2007 year, slightly above the net gain of 10,200 in the May 2006 year.

However, annual net PLT migration has eased since reaching 14,800 in the November 2006 year.

The 2007 figure is close to the annual average of 12,200 recorded for the December years 1990-2006.

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