In February 2024, Chinese New Year brought a boost to the number of visitors arriving in New Zealand from China, marking the highest monthly Chinese visitor arrivals since January 2020 before the pandemic, according to Stats NZ, the statistics department, on Monday.

Stats NZ reported that there were 37,900 visitor arrivals from China in February 2024, a significant increase of 33,700 from February 2023. This represents the highest monthly visitor arrivals from China since January 2020 when there were 50,300 arrivals, just before pandemic-related travel restrictions were put in place worldwide.

Tehseen Islam, the population indicators manager at Stats NZ, mentioned that monthly arrivals from China usually reach their peak in January or February each year, depending on the timing of Chinese New Year.

China stood as the third largest source of overseas visitors to New Zealand in February 2024, following Australia and the United States, Islam added.

Overall, there were 362,800 visitor arrivals in February 2024, showing an increase of 94,100 from February 2023. Islam noted that about one-third of this increase was due to visitors from China.

Additionally, New Zealand experienced a record February for New Zealanders traveling abroad. Stats NZ reported that 204,500 New Zealand-resident travelers returned from short-term overseas trips in February 2024, marking a record for any February month and the first to surpass 200,000.

The previous record for February was 190,600 arrivals in February 2019. Islam mentioned that the highest number of New Zealand-resident arrivals for any month was 345,100 in July 2018.

In February 2024, Australia was the top destination for New Zealand-resident travelers, followed by China, India, the United States, and Fiji, according to Islam.