The number of visitor arrivals to New Zealand from China was 50,900 in February, down 18,100 year-on-year, New Zealand's statistics department Stats NZ said on Friday.
The decrease was largely due to fewer arrivals during the 2019 Chinese New Year, a peak holiday season for travelers from China, Stats NZ explained.
"There were 68,900 visitor arrivals from China in February 2018, which was more than double the 33,700 seen in 2017," population insights senior manager Brooke Theyers said in a statement.
The total number of visitor arrivals was 417,900 in February this year, down 5,500 compared with the same month last year. The drop from China was offset by increases elsewhere, including South Korea, Britain, and Australia.
"Although February 2019's figures are down compared with last year, they are still up 17,100 from 2017," Theyers said.
The most popular overseas port for New Zealand-resident travelers to fly back through in February 2019 was Sydney, which accounted for 36,200 resident travelers, followed by Melbourne, Brisbane, and China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
New Zealand's annual net migration is estimated at 61,600, with migrant arrivals provisionally estimated at 153,100 and migrant departures at 91,600 in the 12 months ended February 2019, Stats NZ said.