Travel - NZ-resident traveller departures by every country of main destination and purpose (Annual-Dec) 1979–2017

Stats NZ


Country of main destination: the country where a New Zealand-resident traveller will spend the most time while overseas. Departure cards do not ask travellers which other countries they intend to visit on the same trip.
Short-term New Zealand traveller departures are New Zealand residents departing New Zealand for an absence of less than 12 months.
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.

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. Stats 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.


The statistics in this release relate to the number of passenger movements from 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 example, a New Zealand resident making five business trips overseas within a year would be counted as five departures.

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.

Countries that ceased to exist are recorded throughout the entire time series.
Conventions/Conferences were only recorded as purpose of visit from late 2000.
The purpose 'Education/medical' was collected from August 1999. From January 2005, this category became solely 'Education'.
Also between 1988 and 2000, the 'Unspecified' and 'Other' purposes appear to be over-inflated.
'Other' purposes include stopovers (collected until July 1999).

Data provided by

Stats NZ

Dataset name

International Travel and Migration: NZ-resident traveller departures by EVERY country of main destination and purpose (Annual-Dec) December 2017


How to find the data

At URL provided, select 'Tourism -> International Travel and Migration - ITM -> NZ-resident traveller departures by EVERY country of main dest and purpose (Annual-Dec)'. All variables were selected to produce this dataset.

Import & extraction details

File as imported: International Travel and Migration: NZ-resident traveller departures by EVERY country of main destination and purpose (Annual-Dec) December 2017

From the dataset International Travel and Migration: NZ-resident traveller departures by EVERY country of main destination and purpose (Annual-Dec) December 2017, this data was extracted:

  • Rows: 12-50
  • Columns: 2-2,025
  • Provided: 78,936 data points

Dataset originally released on:

February 02, 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.