21 Dec 2010

Record number of visitors from China

12:15 pm on 21 December 2010

The number of Chinese people visiting New Zealand last month was the highest ever for the month of November.

Statistics New Zealand says Asian visitors are offsetting a slump in those coming from Europe.

Almost 15,000 people from China came for short-term visits in November, exceeding the previous high three years ago.

Annual visitors from China surpassed 120,000, but Radio New Zealand's economics correspondent says that's still below the previous peak of 125,000, set two years ago.

Statistics NZ believes the annual record may not be far away if the currently trend continues.

Overall, the annual number of visitors from Asia is above 450,000, up nearly 15% on a year ago.

But the number of visitors from Europe, who tend to stay for longer, fell by 4% to 462,000.

Long-term net migration, representing long-term arrivals minus those leaving, was unchanged at 600 in November.