208,000 FOREIGN VISITORS STUCK IN NZ

According to StatsNZ, there are over 208,000 foreigners still in New Zealand and will now be trapped here for four weeks. Now with Level 4 Alert in action, the tourism industry is helping visitors move into appropriate accomodation as the country enters lockdown.

“We’ve derived this provisional estimate to assist with Covid-19 analysis and decision-making,” said Brooke Theyers, population insight senior manager for Stats NZ. Included in the 208,000 are the visitors who have been here in the last 12 months who planned to stay less than one year.

“This is an estimate of the size of the pool of overseas visitors in New Zealand at a point in time, not the flow of people coming into or leaving the country each week or month. We know the flows in and out of New Zealand have slowed significantly in recent weeks,” she explained. “While most visitors to New Zealand are tourists here for a short time, large numbers are also here for work and study over many weeks or months.”

2019 saw the arrival of 3.9 million visitors to New Zealand, around 488,000, or 12.5%, stayed for longer than a month. In March 2019, there was an average of 242,000 visitors in the country each day.

“If and when visitors in New Zealand will return overseas will depend on the availability of flights and their purpose of travel to New Zealand. While most visitors to New Zealand are tourists here for a short time, large numbers are also here for work and study over many weeks or months.”