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3401.0 - Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, Dec 2009 Quality Declaration 
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FEATURE ARTICLE: INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENTS — 2009


ALL MOVEMENTS

In the year ended December 2009 there were a record 24.7 million crossings of Australia's international borders by travellers (original series). This represents 1,129 crossings per 1,000 Australian population. The majority of movements were short-term (96%). Short-term movements have a duration of stay in Australia or absence from Australia of less than one year. Ten years ago (1999) there were 15.8 million crossings by travellers, representing 836 crossings per 1,000 Australian population.

Just over half of the total movements in 2009 were arrivals to Australia (12.4 million). They were comprised of 6.2 million Australian residents returning after a short-term absence from Australia, 5.6 million visitors arriving for a short-term stay and 642,700 permanent and long-term arrivals.

Just under half of the total movements in 2009 were departures from Australia (12.3 million). They were comprised of 6.3 million Australian residents departing short-term, 5.6 million visitors departing Australia after a short-term stay and 339,100 permanent and long-term departures.

For the second time in the last 23 years short-term resident departures exceeded short-term visitor arrivals. In 2008 and 2009 resident departures were higher than visitor arrivals by over 200,000 and 700,000 movements respectively.

SHORT-TERM VISITOR ARRIVALS AND RESIDENT DEPARTURES, Australia: Original series
Graph: SHORT-TERM VISITOR ARRIVALS AND RESIDENT DEPARTURES, Australia: Original series


A traveller may cross Australia's borders many times in a year and each movement is counted in these statistics. See the 1st paragraph of the PERMANENT AND LONG-TERM MOVEMENTS section in the MAIN FEATURES.


Short-term visitor arrivals

Trend estimates

Trend estimates provide the best method to analyse the underlying direction of the short-term visitor arrivals series. Since December 1999 the trend series has mainly recorded long-term growth. While the current Global Economic Crisis saw the series decline from April 2008, the decline faltered in October 2008. Subsequently, the trend series experienced further substantial declines and increases. In December 2009 the short-term visitor arrivals trend series reached an all time high (486,500 movements) while the low point was at the commencement of the series in December 1999 (378,900 movements).

Seasonally adjusted estimates

Irregular impacts on the short-term visitor arrivals series are demonstrated by the seasonally adjusted series. The graph below shows that over the ten year period ending December 2009 a number of large variations were evident for short-term visitor arrivals to Australia. The terrorist attacks in the United States of America on 11 September 2001 and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in mid-2003 both coincided with decreases in the numbers of visitors arriving in Australia. The increase in movements in September 2000 reflects the large number of arrivals at the time of the Sydney Olympic Games while the increase in July 2008 coincided with World Youth Day.

SHORT-TERM VISITOR ARRIVALS, Australia
Graph: SHORT-TERM VISITOR ARRIVALS, Australia


Original estimates

In original terms, 5.58 million short-term visitors arrived in Australia in the year ended December 2009. This was a little lower than the number of movements recorded in the year ended December 2008 (5.59 million) and lower than the record 5.64 million in the year ended December 2007. Ten years ago (1999), 4.46 million short-term visitors arrived in Australia.

The following table shows, for selected years, the top ten source countries (based on 2009) for short-term visitor arrivals. For each of the selected periods New Zealand was the largest contributor to short-term visitor arrivals to Australia (19.9% in 2009). Japan was the second highest contributor in both 1999 and 2004 followed by the United Kingdom, Channel Islands & Isle of Man which replaced Japan in 2009 as the second highest contributor (11.9%). Japan's percentage contribution fell from 15.9% in 1999 to 6.4% in 2009. Of the top ten source countries, short-term visitor arrivals from China recorded the strongest growth over the period, increasing from 2.1% in 1999 to 6.6% in 2009.

SHORT-TERM VISITOR ARRIVALS, Australia - Calendar Years

1999
2004
2009
Number
Proportion
Number
Proportion
Number
Proportion
Country of residence(a)
'000
%
'000
%
'000
%

New Zealand
728.8
16.3
1 032.7
19.8
1 110.5
19.9
UK, CIs & IOM(b)
528.4
11.8
676.2
13.0
663.8
11.9
United States of America
417.0
9.4
433.3
8.3
479.7
8.6
China
92.6
2.1
251.3
4.8
366.4
6.6
Japan
707.5
15.9
710.4
13.6
355.4
6.4
Singapore
267.0
6.0
251.2
4.8
285.3
5.1
Malaysia
139.8
3.1
166.8
3.2
211.5
3.8
Korea
108.6
2.4
211.9
4.1
180.9
3.2
Germany
144.5
3.2
140.6
2.7
161.3
2.9
Hong Kong
139.6
3.1
137.2
2.6
156.9
2.8
All other countries
1 185.7
26.6
1 203.4
23.1
1 612.3
28.9
Total
4 459.5
100.0
5 215.0
100.0
5 584.1
100.0

(a) Top 10 source countries based on original estimates.
(b) United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.


When 1999 and 2009 were compared the peak age group for all short-term visitor arrivals remained the 25-29 years age group (12.7% and 11.5% respectively). People are travelling at an older age with the proportion travelling in the 50-69 years age group increasing from 24.4% in 1999 to 27.3% in 2009. Conversely, the proportion travelling in the 25-49 years age group decreased from 49.9% in 1999 to 45.4% in 2009. The median age of all short-term visitor arrivals was 37.6 years in 1999 compared with 38.8 years in 2009.

SHORT-TERM VISITOR ARRIVALS, Australia - Calendar Years

1999
2004
2009
Number
Proportion
Number
Proportion
Number
Proportion
Age group (years)
'000
%
'000
%
'000
%

0-4
81.5
1.8
105.4
2.0
123.3
2.2
5-9
98.4
2.2
132.6
2.5
129.3
2.3
10-14
135.5
3.0
179.9
3.5
156.8
2.8
15-19
234.4
5.3
302.5
5.8
295.9
5.3
20-24
412.0
9.2
485.2
9.3
580.4
10.4
25-29
565.7
12.7
556.7
10.7
642.6
11.5
30-34
474.7
10.6
534.7
10.3
510.1
9.1
35-39
418.2
9.4
467.7
9.0
468.0
8.4
40-44
388.7
8.7
469.9
9.0
446.9
8.0
45-49
378.9
8.5
451.0
8.6
466.9
8.4
50-54
375.3
8.4
431.4
8.3
466.4
8.4
55-59
300.2
6.7
400.8
7.7
422.6
7.6
60-64
239.0
5.4
293.9
5.6
373.2
6.7
65-69
175.1
3.9
202.4
3.9
259.9
4.7
70-74
104.4
2.3
113.6
2.2
139.3
2.5
75 and over
77.6
1.7
87.2
1.7
102.6
1.8
Total
4 459.5
100.0
5 215.0
100.0
5 584.1
100.0



For male visitors arriving for a short-term stay the peak age group moved from the 30-34 years age group in 1999 (11.6%) to the younger 25-29 years age group in 2009 (10.8%). For females the peak age group remained the same, the 25-29 years age group (14.0% in 1999 decreasing to 12.2% in 2009). The median ages of males and females increased in 2009 to 39.5 years and 37.9 years respectively. In 1999 the comparative medians were 38.6 years and 36.2 years respectively.

SHORT-TERM VISITOR ARRIVALS, Australia - Age and Sex
Graph: SHORT-TERM VISITOR ARRIVALS, Australia—Age and Sex


More males than females arrive for short-term stays in Australia. The short-term visitor arrival sex ratio (the number of male arrivals per 100 female arrivals) was 107 males in 1999 compared with 103 males in 2009. The highest sex ratio was recorded in the 35-39 years age group in 1999 (148 males) and the 40-44 years age group in 2009 (135 males). The lowest sex ratios were in the 20-24 years age group (72 males in 1999 and 84 males in 2009) The following graph illustrates, for short-term visitor arrivals, the sex ratios at each age group.

SHORT-TERM VISITOR ARRIVALS, Australia - Sex ratios at age
Graph: SHORT-TERM VISITOR ARRIVALS, Australia—Sex ratios at age


In the year ended December 2009, short-term visitor arrivals to Australia stated the main reason for journey as holiday (46%), followed by visiting friends and relatives (25%) and business (10%). In comparison the main reasons for journey in the year ended December 1999 were holiday (56%), visiting friends and relatives (19%) and business (10%). The median duration of stay for all short-term visitor arrivals was 11 days in both 1999 and 2009.

New South Wales was the intended state of stay for 38% of all short-term visitors to Australia in the year ended December 2009. The other destinations were Queensland (26%), Victoria (20%), Western Australia (10%), South Australia (3%) and Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (1% each). In 1999, the intended state of stay proportions for all short-term visitor arrivals were mainly similar. Small differences were recorded for New South Wales (41%), Queensland (29%), Victoria (15%), South Australia (2%) and Tasmania (less than 1%).


Short-term resident departures

Trend estimates

Currently the trend series is suspended from April 2009 and onwards. For further information please see the SUSPENSION OF SHORT-TERM RESIDENT DEPARTURES TREND SERIES section of the NOTES page of this issue.

From late 2000 to mid 2003 the trend series, while fluctuating, changed little. From mid 2003 to late 2008 the series mainly recorded strong long-term growth.

Seasonally adjusted estimates

The seasonally adjusted series allows for the analysis of irregular impacts on the series and has continued to be produced for April 2009 and onwards. During the ten years ending December 2009 the seasonally adjusted estimate has mainly recorded strong growth. During the period commencing late 2000 and ending late 2003 movements remained relatively stable, with two exceptions coinciding with September 11 in 2001 and the emergence of SARS in mid 2003. Additional factors that may have contributed to short-term resident departures remaining stable during this period include the low Australian dollar in 2000, the bombing in Bali in October 2002 and the anticipation and commencement of military action in Iraq in early 2003. Strong movement in the series from late 2008 coincided with the Global Economic Crisis, the high Australian dollar, cut-price air fares and the Australian Government stimulus packages of October 2008 and February 2009.

SHORT-TERM RESIDENT DEPARTURES, Australia
Graph: SHORT-TERM RESIDENT DEPARTURES, Australia


Original estimates

In original terms, a record 6.28 million residents travelled overseas for short-term visits in the year ended December 2009. This compared with 5.81 million in the year ended December 2008. Ten years ago (1999), there were 3.21 million residents departing Australia short-term.

The following table shows, for selected years, the top ten destination countries (based on 2009) for short-term resident departures. While the proportion decreased for New Zealand when 2004 (18.7%) and 2009 (16.4%) were compared, it remained the main destination for short-term resident departures from Australia for each of the selected periods. The United States of America was the second most popular destination for Australians departing during the selected periods. In 2009 Indonesia (8.7%) was the third most popular destination having returned to the proportions experienced in 1999 (also 8.7%). In 2004, after the first bombings in Bali in October 2002, the proportion of Australian residents departing to Indonesia for short-term visits was down to 7.7%. Australian resident departures increased to Thailand (up from 4.3% in 1999 to 6.2% in 2009) and decreased to the United Kingdom, Channel Islands & Isle of Man (down from 9.7% in 1999 to 7.0% in 2009).

SHORT-TERM RESIDENT DEPARTURES, Australia - Calendar Years

1999
2004
2009
Number
Proportion
Number
Proportion
Number
Proportion
Country of destination(a)
'000
%
'000
%
'000
%

New Zealand
488.9
15.2
815.8
18.7
1 033.3
16.4
United States of America
347.0
10.8
376.1
8.6
567.0
9.0
Indonesia
280.6
8.7
335.1
7.7
548.3
8.7
UK, CIs & IOM(b)
312.7
9.7
375.1
8.6
442.7
7.0
Thailand
137.0
4.3
188.2
4.3
392.2
6.2
China
83.4
2.6
182.0
4.2
279.0
4.4
Fiji
115.3
3.6
175.4
4.0
242.0
3.9
Malaysia
119.9
3.7
144.4
3.3
227.3
3.6
Singapore
140.8
4.4
159.0
3.6
226.9
3.6
Hong Kong
143.9
4.5
152.6
3.5
206.2
3.3
All other countries
1 040.5
32.4
1 464.9
33.5
2 120.0
33.7
Total
3 210.0
100.0
4 368.7
100.0
6 284.9
100.0

(a) Top 10 destination countries based on original estimates.
(b) United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.


When 1999 and 2009 were compared the peak age group for all short-term resident departures remained the 45-49 years age group (10.9% and 10.0% respectively). Australian residents are travelling overseas at an older age with the proportion travelling in the 50-69 years age group increasing from 25.0% in 1999 to 28.3% in 2009. Conversely, the proportion travelling in the 25-49 years age group decreased from 51.0% in 1999 to 46.1% in 2009. The median age of all short-term resident departures was 40.0 years in 1999 compared with 40.5 years in 2009.

SHORT-TERM RESIDENT DEPARTURES, Australia - Calendar Years

1999
2004
2009
Number
Proportion
Number
Proportion
Number
Proportion
Age groups (years)
'000
%
'000
%
'000
%

0-4
91.7
2.9
133.0
3.0
223.3
3.6
5-9
99.1
3.1
135.2
3.1
198.3
3.2
10-14
108.8
3.4
167.0
3.8
233.9
3.7
15-19
136.6
4.3
199.3
4.6
290.4
4.6
20-24
213.8
6.7
282.3
6.5
431.2
6.9
25-29
321.2
10.0
386.9
8.9
591.0
9.4
30-34
306.8
9.6
439.1
10.1
551.2
8.8
35-39
327.1
10.2
403.3
9.2
566.0
9.0
40-44
332.5
10.4
451.4
10.3
559.7
8.9
45-49
349.2
10.9
455.7
10.4
631.1
10.0
50-54
331.7
10.3
431.2
9.9
601.4
9.6
55-59
224.3
7.0
372.9
8.5
519.2
8.3
60-64
147.1
4.6
227.6
5.2
412.5
6.6
65-69
100.9
3.1
139.2
3.2
245.5
3.9
70-74
67.1
2.1
75.6
1.7
128.6
2.0
75 and over
52.1
1.6
69.2
1.6
101.4
1.6
Total
3 210.0
100.0
4 368.7
100.0
6 284.9
100.0



For male Australian residents departing overseas for a short-term stay abroad the peak age group remained the 45-49 years age group (11.7% in 1999 decreasing to 10.5% in 2009). For females the peak age group was younger, the 25-29 years age group at 11.0% in 1999 and 10.1% in 2009. The median age of males and females increased in 2009 to 41.5 years and 39.2 years respectively. In 1999 the comparative medians were 41.2 years and 38.3 years respectively.

SHORT-TERM RESIDENT DEPARTURES, Australia - Age and Sex
Graph: SHORT-TERM RESIDENT DEPARTURES, Australia—Age and Sex


More male than female residents depart Australia for short-term stays abroad. The short-term resident departures sex ratio (the number of male departures per 100 female departures) was 119 males in 1999 compared with 113 males in 2009. The highest sex ratios were recorded in the 35-39 years age group in 1999 (149 males) and the 40-44 years age group in 2009 (135 males). The lowest sex ratios were in the 15-19 years age group (74 males per 100 females in 1999 and 84 males per 100 females in 2009). The age group 75 years and over has seen considerable change with the sex ratio increasing from 80 males in 1999 to 101 males in 2009. The following graph illustrates, for short-term resident departures, the sex ratios at each age group.

SHORT-TERM RESIDENT DEPARTURES, Australia - Sex ratios at age
Graph: SHORT-TERM RESIDENT DEPARTURES, Australia—Sex ratios at age


In the year ended December 2009, Australian residents departing short-term stated holiday (53%) as the main reason for journey, followed by visiting friends and relatives (25%) and business (11%). In comparison the main reasons for journey in the year ended December 1999 were holiday (46%), visiting friends and relatives (25%) and business (16%). During the 2009 period the median duration of stay was 15 days compared with 16 days in 1999.

The largest contributors to short-term travel overseas in the year ended December 2009 were the most populous states. Residents of New South Wales contributed the highest proportion of travellers (36%), followed by Victoria (24%), Queensland (18%), Western Australia (14%), South Australia (5%), the Australian Capital Territory (2%), Tasmania and the Northern Territory (1% each). In 1999, the state/territory of stay proportions for all short-term resident departures were mainly similar. Differences were recorded for New South Wales 40%, Queensland 15% and Western Australia 12%.

In terms of the rate of movement for short-term resident departures (the number of movements per 1,000 state or territory population) there was considerable variation across the states and territories. Western Australia had the highest movement rate (395 movements per 1,000 population) followed by the Australian Capital Territory (366), New South Wales (315), Victoria (279), the Northern Territory (275), Queensland (252), South Australia (176) and Tasmania (130). Overall, the Australian movement rate was 287 movements per 1,000 population.

STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE

The above presentation of movements in estimates does not take into account whether the change in movement is statistically significant. Care should be taken when interpreting the impact of numeric and/or percentage change. Please see the Standard Errors section of this issue for more detail.


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