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3106.0 - Demography News, Jan 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/02/2004   
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OVERSEAS ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES RECOVERING FROM THE IMPACT OF SEVERE ACUTE RESPIRATORY SYNDROME (SARS)

In March 2003, the World Health Organisation issued an emergency travel advisory in response to the global threat of SARS. Combined with the impact of the anticipation and commencement of military action in Iraq, this had a significant impact on overseas arrivals and departures, particularly short-term movement. From March 2003 to the end of July 2003, the number of short-term visitor arrivals (1,698,700 movements) and short-term resident departures (1,286,000 movements) decreased by 10% and 13% respectively when compared to the previous year. May 2003 experienced the largest decline in short-term visitor arrivals (down 69,000 movements) and short-term resident departures (down 58,200 movements), with a decrease of 21% and 20% respectively compared to May 2002. Short-term movements during June and July 2003 also experienced a decline when compared to 2002 monthly data, although not as large as those recorded between March and May.

At the end of July 2003 the World Health Organisation declared the international outbreak of SARS to be over and international travel began to recover. In August 2003, short-term resident departures (296,900 movements) recorded an increase (5%) for the first time since the commencement of the SARS outbreak when compared to the corresponding month in 2002. In September 2003, there was also an increase (8%) of short-term visitor arrivals (385,600 movements) compared to September 2002. To date, the monthly figures for short-term movements have continued to record increases compared to 2002 monthly data.

For more information regarding Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (cat. no. 3401.0). For more information please contact Chrissy Beruldsen on (02) 6252 5640 or c.beruldsen@abs.gov.au


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