Chinese arrivals continue to slow

Chinese visitor numbers continued to ease in Q2 2019

The number of Chinese visitors coming into the country continued to ease in the June 2019 quarter, following the same trend seen in the March quarter of 2019.  Chinese arrival numbers fell 13.8 per cent (13,000) compared to the same quarter of the previous year. This follows a sustained period of rapid growth in the Chinese market over the last decade.

Total visitor arrivals China - annual

Source: International Travel and Migration, Stats NZ

While the overall number of visitor arrivals from China has declined over the year, the median length of stay for visitors from China increased by 4.2 per cent. This was driven by an 18.9 per cent reduction (-25,000) in the number of visitors undertaking short trips of 1-3 days duration.

Since late 2016, we have seen an increasing proportion of Chinese travellers acquiring general visitor visas, rather than group visas—reflecting the ongoing market shift towards Free Independent Travel (FIT).  These travellers are more likely to structure their own travel, to travel further afield, and stay in New Zealand longer.

Chinese visas isued

Source: Migration Statistics, MBIE

Slowing growth in the Chinese economy and its ongoing trade war with the United States could mean the number of Chinese tourists visiting New Zealand continue to decline.

Last updated: 11 February 2020