Thu, 23 Mar 2023

WELLINGTON, March 14 (Xinhua) -- This January was the first month to see over 1 million border crossings since COVID-19-related border and travel restrictions were introduced in March 2020, two-thirds of the pre-COVID level, according to the statistics department Stats NZ on Tuesday.

There were 514,100 arrivals and 497,000 departures in January 2023, Stats NZ said.

"People have started to travel again," population indicators manager Tehseen Islam said, adding that January 2023 border crossings are two-thirds of the 1.5 million that travelled in January 2020, before the pandemic.

"As COVID-19-related border restrictions were gradually eased from early 2022, border crossing numbers increased nearly every month throughout that year," Islam said.

Border crossings include all arrivals and departures, either for short-term trips or longer-term migration, by people living overseas or in New Zealand.

There were 265,400 overseas visitor arrivals in January 2023, compared with 4,000 in January 2022, Islam said.

"We are seeing overseas visitor numbers rebound, although they are about two-thirds of the level before the pandemic," he said, adding that the peak season for overseas visitor arrivals to New Zealand is typically from December to February.

Australia remained the main source of visitor arrivals in January 2023, with about two in every five from there, followed by the United States and Britain, statistics show.

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