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More than a million border crossings in January


Te Whanganui-a-Tara – January this year was the first month to see more than one million border crossings since covid related border and travel restrictions were introduced in March 2020, Stats NZ said today.

There were 514,100 arrivals and 497,000 departures in January 2023.

Stats NZ population indicators manager Tehseen Islam  says people have started to travel again. January 2023 border crossings are two thirds of the 1.5 million that travelled in January 2020, before the pandemic.

“As covid-related border restrictions were gradually eased from early 2022, border crossing numbers increased nearly every month last year.”

Border crossings include all arrivals and departures, either for short-term trips or longer-term migration, by people living overseas or in New Zealand.

There were 265,400 overseas visitor arrivals this January, compared with 4000 in January 2022. The peak season for overseas visitor arrivals to New Zealand is typically from December to February.

Australia remains the main source of visitor arrivals with about two in every five from there. This was followed by the United Kingdom (15 percent) and the United States (10 percent).

Visitor arrivals from China remained well down in January 2023, with 4900 arriving compared with 50,300 in January 2020. China was New Zealand’s second largest source of visitor arrivals immediately before the pandemic.

In January, 234,900 New Zealand-residents returned from a short, less than 12 months, trip overseas. This is the highest since January 2020, just before the covid-related border restrictions.

The January 2023 number is 72 percent of the 326,300 New Zealand-resident arrivals in January 2020.

Of all New Zealand-resident arrivals, 36 percent returned from Australia followed by India, the United States, and Fiji with seven percent each.

International travel covers the number and characteristics of overseas visitors and New Zealand resident travellers (short-term movements) entering or leaving New Zealand.

Overseas visitor arrivals were 265,400 in the January 2023 month, up 261,400 from the January 2022 month.