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NZ foreign travel drops with pause of quarantine-free travel

 
Wellington, Oct 12 (IANS) The number of people crossing New Zealand's border dropped in August due to the pause of quarantine-free travel with Australia and the Cook Islands, the statistics department Stats NZ said on Tuesday.

There were 41,300 border crossings in August, made up of 18,800 arrivals and 22,500 departures. The total number of border crossings was well down compared with the previous three months when they averaged 171,000 each month, Xinhua news agency quoted Stats NZ as saying.

The drop in border crossings reflects the suspension of two-way quarantine-free travel with Australia, and one-way quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to the Cook Islands during August, population indicators manager Tehseen Islam said in a statement.

Provisional data for September shows a further decrease in the number of border crossings, Islam said, adding border crossings include all arrivals and departures, either for short-term trips or longer-term migration by people living overseas or in New Zealand.

The Cook Islands was the main destination for New Zealand-resident travellers, with 8,500 arriving back in August. Of these, 92 percent returned from a holiday, statistics show.

In total, 13,400 New Zealand-resident travellers arrived rom an overseas trip in August. This was down 23,100 from July, but up 10,100 from August 2020, Islam said.

Of all New Zealand-resident travelers who stated a main destination on their return, 68 per cent returned from the Cook Islands, followed by Australia (8 per cent) and Japan (4 per cent), he said.

"Arrivals included athletes and officials of the New Zealand team returning from the Tokyo Olympic Games," Islam said.

There were just 2,700 overseas visitor arrivals in August 2021, down 27,500 from July, he said, adding of overseas visitor arrivals who specified their country of residence, 13 per cent arrived from the Cook Islands, followed by Britain (11 per cent) and Australia (11 per cent).

"This is the first time the Cook Islands has been the main source of visitor arrivals," Islam said, adding overseas visitors can include New Zealand citizens, seasonal workers, and essential workers, among others.

Net migration was provisionally estimated at 2,400 in the year ended August 2021 compared with 72,500 in the year ended August 2020, a drop of 70,100, statistics show.

There was a net migration gain of 12,200 New Zealand citizens and a net migration loss of 9,800 non-New Zealand citizens in the year ended August 2021, Islam said.

--IANS
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