Chinese visitor numbers decline

There was a clear decline in Chinese visitors coming into New Zealand this February after last year's record-setting high.

Stats NZ believes the decrease is mostly due to the timing of the 2019 Chinese New Year, as the holiday can affect travelling and celebration plans. This year the holiday fell in early February, compared to the mid-February date of 2018.

Visitor arrivals from China totalled 50,900 in February 2019, down 18,100 from the year prior.

“There were 68,900 visitor arrivals from China in February 2018, which was more than double the 33,700 seen in 2017,” said Brooke Theyers, population insights senior manager, Stats NZ.

“Although February 2019’s figures are down compared with last year, they are still up 17,100 from 2017.”

Despite the Chinese market cooling off, the change was offset by increases elsewhere, with Korea up 1,800, and both Australia and Taiwan up 1,200.