Overseas visitor numbers still boosted by Rugby World Cup visitors

Monday August 27, 2012 Hugh Dixon

In the year to July 2012, the number of visitors totalled 2,633,200, a 5.6 percent increase on year earlier levels. 


Annual visitor numbers in July 2012 are higher compared to July 2011 visitor numbers, thanks to the higher visitor numbers for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

International visitor numbers


Australian’s and South African’s were two of the main visiting countries coming to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup.  The largest number of visitors came from Australian (up 67,500) and South African visitors which were up 44.7 percent to 25,300 in the year to July 2012.


However, visitor numbers in July 2012 fell by 1.4 percent or 2,500 visitors from July 2011.  This decline has meant that annual visitor numbers have fallen from its peak in June 2012 of 2,635,700 visitors.  Countries with the largest decreases in visitor numbers were Japan (down 7,700), the United Kingdom (down 6,000), and South Korea (down 5,500).


In the coming few months, we will see the effect of the increased visitor numbers from the Rugby World Cup disappear from the annual visitor numbers.  The drop-off will particularly be seen in the number of annual visitors from outside our two main markets of Australia and China.


The drop-off in visitor numbers is already evident with the decrease in monthly overseas arrivals for July 2012, the third monthly decrease in 2012.  The other monthly decreases were seen in April and February.  The largest monthly decrease in 2012 was in February 2012 with a decrease of 9,000, when compared to February 2011.