International travel lifts as border restrictions ease

The number of people crossing New Zealand’s border increased in March 2022 as border restrictions were relaxed, Stats NZ said today.

There were 126,200 border crossings in March 2022, made up of 66,100 arrivals and 60,100 departures. In February 2022, there were 41,000 border crossings made up of 16,300 arrivals and 24,600 departures.

“From late February 2022, the New Zealand Government started opening its border in stages, including for New Zealand citizens coming back from anywhere in the world,” said population indicators manager Tehseen Islam. “This has seen the number of people the border lift compared with previous crossing months.”

Month-Year Arrivals Departures
Apr-2020 6256 31975
May-2020 5622 10231
Jun-2020 9270 14997
Jul-2020 9140 18390
Aug-2020 11515 14443
Sep-2020 11700 15823
Oct-2020 12392 13496
Nov-2020 11741 13610
Dec-2020 12766 17405
Jan-2021 13119 13858
Feb-2021 12160 13274
Mar-2021 11878 14618
Apr-2021 47003 38871
May-2021 91299 98183
Jun-2021 85350 90196
Jul-2021 72027 75899
Aug-2021 18821 22513
Sep-2021 8200 7855
Oct-2021 11020 9752
Nov-2021 12324 16370
Dec-2021 15355 26413
Jan-2022 15910 22685
Feb-2022 16315 24639
Mar-2022 66058 60136
Apr-2022 125181 141613

Provisional data for April 2022 shows further increases in both arrivals and departures, with Australian visitors allowed to enter from mid-April 2022. See Self-isolation requirements removed and Government reopens New Zealand for tourism.

Overseas visitor arrivals dominated by New Zealand citizens

Of the total 28,600 overseas visitors arriving in March 2022, three-quarters were New Zealand citizens. New Zealand citizens have dominated overseas visitor arrivals in most months since COVID-19 border and travel restrictions were introduced in March 2020.

Month-Year Arrivals – NZ citizens Arrivals – non-NZ citizens Departures – NZ citizens Departures – non-NZ citizens
Apr-2020 1286 435 985 26377
May-2020 1626 563 1544 5630
Jun-2020 2391 1130 1651 8293
Jul-2020 2313 1168 1862 8989
Aug-2020 2920 1862 1534 6078
Sep-2020 3014 2505 1402 6626
Oct-2020 2520 2553 1694 4001
Nov-2020 3250 1866 1738 2942
Dec-2020 3982 1922 1784 3081
Jan-2021 2799 2649 2391 2317
Feb-2021 2497 2800 2074 2203
Mar-2021 2574 2065 2620 2015
Apr-2021 16891 15040 6677 7462
May-2021 26064 31541 28341 32220
Jun-2021 21233 30357 19601 27533
Jul-2021 12508 17701 15905 24432
Aug-2021 1158 1518 3931 3367
Sep-2021 676 1634 640 1244
Oct-2021 1385 2302 827 1303
Nov-2021 2281 3028 1526 1952
Dec-2021 3309 2852 1643 1972
Jan-2022 2028 2005 2904 1798
Feb-2022 1862 3373 2105 1915
Mar-2022 21002 7622 8685 4127
Apr-2022 31172 22387 26972 17352

The main countries that short-term overseas visitors were coming from were Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Samoa.

Most people who stated a travel purpose on arrival were here to visit friends and relatives (84 percent). Before the COVID-19 pandemic, about half of overseas visitors arriving in March were here for holidays, and one-third were visiting friends and relatives.

Australia main destination for New Zealand-resident travelers

Australia was the main destination for New Zealand-resident travelers, with 15,000 returning from short-term trips in March 2022. The Cook Islands and India were the next most popular destinations.

Of all New Zealand-resident travelers arriving in March 2022, 63 percent were visiting friends and relatives, 16 percent were on holidays, and 12 percent were traveling for business. In the March months before COVID-19 travel and border restrictions, the proportion who traveled to visit friends and relatives was about 40 percent, for holidays about 40 percent, and for business about 18 percent.

/Stats NZ Public Release. This material from the origin organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and expressed opinions are those of the author(s).View in full here.

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