Visitor arrivals drop in March

Visitor arrivals in March 2019 were down 10,100 compared with March last year, according to Stats NZ.

Despite the drop in numbers, Stats NZ was optimistic about the results.

“Although visitor arrivals in March 2019 were down compared with March 2018, they actually tracked higher for the first three weeks of March,” said Brooke Theyers, population insights senior manager, Stats NZ.

“However, visitor numbers are much lower compared with the latter half of March 2018.”

The late Easter is a likely contributing factor to the decline, with Easter falling in mid-April this year as opposed to late March last year. Stats NZ said the Christchurch mosque attacks also likely had an impact on visitor numbers.

The most significant exception to the decrease was the increase of visitors from the United States, which was up 19 percent (7,700) from March 2018. The vast majority of these visitors flew in through Auckland Airport which had 39,100 visitor arrivals from the US in March 2019.