A Rugby World Cup visitor boom has been confirmed by Statistics NZ this morning, which has just announced that 133,200 visitors came to New Zealand for the tournament.
Statistics NZ says 53,000 World Cup visitors came to New Zealand in October, adding to the 80,000 who arrived here in July and September.
Australians came in droves, with 55,200 players, officials and fans crossing the Tasman for the tournament.
After Australia, most visitors arriving for the Rugby World Cup during the July-October period were from the United Kingdom, with 19,100, France - 11,100, South Africa - 8,500, the United States - 5,500, and Ireland with 4,300.
Visitors were asked to indicate on their arrival card whether they were in New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup.
There was a 17 per cent increase in total visitor arrivals in October, compared with the same month last year.
Statistics NZ said New Zealand residents took 4 per cent more overseas trips in October, due to later school holidays that were timed to coincide with the Rugby World Cup finals.
Migration stats also released this morning have shown the first annual net loss of migrants since 2001, with a net loss of 100 migrants in the year to the end of October.
The latest figure resulted from 84,400 permanent and long-term departures slightly outnumbering 84,300 permanent and long-term arrivals.
New Zealand has experienced numerous periods of negative net migration, said Stats NZ. The last was between the July 1998 year and the September 2001 year, when the net loss peaked at 13,200 people in the February 2001 year.
The highest net loss ever recorded was 43,600 people in the July 1979 year, which was followed by net losses throughout most of the 1980s.
The net loss of migrants in the October 2011 year was due to a net loss of 35,000 people to Australia. This was only just below the highest-ever recorded net loss to Australia of 35,400 people in the December 2008 year.
There were net gains of migrants from most other countries, led by the United Kingdom with 5,700, India with 5,100, and China with 4,600.
- NZ HERALD STAFF