International visitor arrivals to New Zealand

Year ended September 1922–2018, millions


Country of residence: the country where the person last lived or will next live for 12 months or more.
Travel purpose: the main purpose for the visit to New Zealand or trip overseas. Categories are holiday, visiting friends and relatives, business, conferences and conventions, education, and other.
Visitor arrivals: Visitor arrivals are overseas residents arriving in New Zealand for a stay of less than 12 months.

Data calculation/treatment

The statistics in this release relate to the number of passenger movements to New Zealand, rather than to the number of people – that is, the multiple movements of individual people during a given reference period are each counted separately.

For more information

Limitations of the data

A person may change their intentions after their arrival or departure, which may mean the recorded passenger type becomes incorrect. Statistics NZ does not revise published statistics for such changes, but advises that the published figures remain a good indicator of trends in permanent and long-term migration.
Data is derived from a sample of records and hence may contain sample error. Caution should be used when using data with low cell values.


'Transit' passengers do not complete border clearance – regardless of whether they travel by air or by sea – so are not included in these statistics. About three-quarters of cruise ship passengers visiting New Zealand are 'transit' passengers.

Changes to data collection/processing

From August 2016, international travel and migration data started being processed using a new, upgraded processing system. The new system uses improved methodology, which takes greater account of travellers' history in addition to intentions stated on the arrival and departure cards. It also makes greater use of automation in the processing and classification of passenger types. There were no revisions to the historical data with this system and methodology changes. Increase in visitor arrivals from a country may partly be due to new imputation methodology, rather than an actual increase in arrivals from that country.

Data provided by

Stats NZ

Dataset name

International Travel and Migration: Visitor arrivals by EVERY country of residence and purpose (Annual-Sep) September 2018


How to find the data

At URL provided, select 'Tourism > International Travel and Migration - ITM > Visitor arrivals by EVERY country of residence and purpose (Annual-Sep)'. All variables were selected to create this dataset.

Import & extraction details

File as imported: International Travel and Migration: Visitor arrivals by EVERY country of residence and purpose (Annual-Sep) September 2018

From the dataset International Travel and Migration: Visitor arrivals by EVERY country of residence and purpose (Annual-Sep) September 2018, this data was extracted:

  • Rows: 4-100
  • Columns: 2-2,025
  • Provided: 81,346 data points

This data forms the table Travel - Visitor arrivals by every country of residence and purpose (Annual-Sep) 1922–2018.

Dataset originally released on:

October 19, 2018

About this dataset

International travel and migration statistics count passengers arriving into and departing from New Zealand. Passengers are split into one of three passenger types: overseas visitors, New Zealand-resident travellers, and permanent and long-term migrants.
Arrivals and departures of overseas visitors and New Zealand-resident travellers are key indicators of tourism and travel. Permanent and long-term migration is a component of New Zealand’s population change, along with births and deaths. Migration affects the composition of the population as well as population size.
International travel and migration statistics are based on electronic arrival and departure records for each international passenger, supplied to Stats NZ by the New Zealand Customs Service. These electronic records include flight and passport details, such as date of travel, date of birth, sex, and country of citizenship.