MIL OSI – Source: Statistics New Zealand – Cricket and holiday periods boost visitor arrivals Visitor arrivals to New Zealand numbered 291,800 in March 2015, a record high for a March month, Statistics New Zealand said today. The latest figure was 15 percent higher than in March 2014, and 8 percent higher than in March 2013. “Visitor numbers in March 2015 were boosted by the Cricket World Cup, and the earlier timing of Easter and overseas school holidays compared with 2014,” population statistics manager Vina Cullum said. “Although Good Friday fell on 3 April this year, travel generally increases several days before the start of holiday periods.” The earlier holidays saw more arrivals from Australia (up 13,900) and the United Kingdom (up 3,800) compared with March 2014. The recent large monthly increases continued from China (up 7,700), while the Cricket World Cup contributed to more visitors from India (up 1,700). New Zealand-resident travellers departed on 168,200 overseas trips in March 2015, up 14 percent from March 2014. This was also influenced by the earlier timing of Easter and school holidays, and trips to watch New Zealand play in the Cricket World Cup final in Melbourne. The biggest increases were to Australia (up 6,600), the United States (up 3,100), China (up 2,200), and India (up 1,400). Almost half of the New Zealand residents travelling to China and India were citizens of those countries.