Australian Bureau of Statistics
3401.0 - Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, Dec 2010 Quality Declaration
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/02/2011
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FEATURE ARTICLE: INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENTS — 2010
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 provide the best approach to analyse the underlying direction of the short-term visitor arrivals series. Over the ten year period ending December 2010, the trend series, while showing monthly fluctuations, has recorded long-term growth. Between the beginning of 2007 and mid 2008, the series was relatively stable but has fluctuated from June 2008 to March 2010, possibly due to the effect of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and the outbreak of swine flu. Over the last nine months of 2010, the trend series experienced a steady increase. In December 2010, the short-term visitor arrivals trend series reached an all time high (507,300 movements), while the lowest point, over the past 10 years, was in December 2001 (389,100 movements).
Seasonally adjusted estimates
Irregular impacts on the short-term visitor arrivals series are demonstrated by the seasonally adjusted series. The above graph shows that over the ten year period ending December 2010, a number of large variations were evident for short-term visitor arrivals to Australia. Major events that have coincided with decreases in the seasonally adjusted series include the terrorist attacks in the United States of America on 11 September 2001 and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in mid-2003. The increase in movements in July 2008 reflects the large arrivals due to the World Youth Day held in Sydney, while the decrease in mid 2009 coincides with the Global Financial Crisis.
In original terms, 5.9 million short-term visitors arrived in Australia in the year ended December 2010. This was higher than the number of movements recorded in the year ended December 2009 (5.6 million). Ten years ago (2000), 4.9 million short-term visitors arrived in Australia.
The following table shows, for selected years, the top ten source countries (based on 2010) for short-term visitor arrivals. For each of the selected periods, New Zealand was the largest contributor to short-term visitor arrivals to Australia (19.7% in 2010). Japan was the second highest contributor in 2000 (14.6%). The United Kingdom, Channel Islands & Isle of Man replaced Japan in 2005 and 2010 as the second highest contributor (12.9% and 11.0% respectively). Japan's percentage contribution declined from 14.6% in 2000 to 6.8% in 2010. Of the top ten source countries, short-term visitor arrivals from China recorded the strongest growth over the period with contributions of 2.4% in 2000 to 7.7% in 2010.
ORIGINAL ESTIMATES - Age and sex
When 2000 and 2010 were compared, the peak age group for all short-term visitor arrivals remained the 25-29 years age group (12.8% and 11.1% respectively). More recently, the age distribution of visitors arriving was older, with the proportion travelling within the 50-69 years age group increasing from 23.8% in 2000 to 27.8% in 2010. Conversely, the proportion travelling in the 25-49 years age group decreased from 50.3% in 2000 to 45.0% in 2010. The median age of all short-term visitor arrivals increased from 37.1 years in 2000 to 39.2 years in 2010.
When examined by gender, the peak age-group remained the same, 25-29 years, for both male and female short-term visitors. However, for male visitors, the contribution of the peak age group declined from 11.9% in 2000 to 10.3% in 2010, and for female visitors, the contribution fell from 13.8% in 2000 to 12.0% in 2010. The median ages of males and females increased to 40.1 years and 38.1 years respectively in 2010. The comparative medians were 38.1 years and 35.6 years respectively in 2000.
More males than females arrive for short-term stays in Australia but the disparity between the numbers is decreasing over time. The short-term visitor arrival sex ratio (the number of male arrivals per 100 female arrivals) was 106 males in 2000 compared with 104 males in 2010. The highest sex ratios were recorded in both the 35-39 and 40-44 years age groups in 2000 (144 males), and the 40-44 years age group in 2010 (141 males). The lowest sex ratios were in the 15-19 years age group in 2000 (71 males), and both the 15-19 years and 20-24 years age groups in 2010 (83 males). The following graph illustrates, for short-term visitor arrivals, the sex ratios at each age group.
ORIGINAL ESTIMATES - Main reason for journey
In the year ended December 2010, the most frequently cited main reason for journey to Australia by short-term visitor arrivals was holiday (46%). This was followed by visiting friends and relatives (24%) and business (11%). While the most cited main reasons for journey in the year ended June 2000 were the same, the proportions were different: holiday (54%), visiting friends and relatives (20%) and business (10%). The median duration of stay for all short-term visitor arrivals was 11 days in both 2000 and 2010.
ORIGINAL ESTIMATES - State of stay
New South Wales was the intended state of stay for 38% of all short-term visitors to Australia in the year ended December 2010. The other state/territory shares were Queensland with 25%, Victoria 21%, Western Australia 10%, South Australia 3%; and Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory 1% each. The intended state of stay distribution has shown changes for specific states when compared to 2000. For example, the percent share of New South Wales has declined moderately from 43% in 2000 to 38% in 2010. On the other hand, Victoria has increased its share from 15% in 2000 to 21% in 2010.
Short-term resident departures
Trend estimates provide the best approach to analyse the underlying direction of the short-term resident departures series. The trend estimate series for short-term resident departures has shown long-term growth over the last ten years ending December 2010. From late 2000 to mid 2003, the trend series, while fluctuating, changed little. From mid 2003 to June 2006, the series mainly recorded strong long-term growth. Since July 2010, the series seems to have flattened. The highest point in the series, over the past ten years, was in October 2010 (602,500 movements) and the lowest point was in December 2001 (274,300 movements). Breaks were recorded in the series at October 2002, December 2003, October 2005, December 2006 and April 2009. For further information, see Explanatory Notes paragraph 25.
Seasonally adjusted estimates
The seasonally adjusted series allows for the analysis of irregular impacts on the series. During the ten years ending December 2010, 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 bombings 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 Financial Crisis, the high Australian dollar, cut-price air fares and the Australian Government stimulus packages of October 2008 and February 2009.
In original terms, a record 7.1 million residents travelled overseas for short-term visits in the year ended December 2010. This compared with 6.3 million in the year ended December 2009. Ten years ago (2000), there were 3.5 million residents departing Australia short-term.
The following table shows, for selected years, the top ten destination countries (based on 2010) for short-term resident departures. While the proportion decreased for New Zealand when 2005 (17.6%) and 2010 (15.0%) 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 2000 (11.3%) and 2005 (9.0%) but Indonesia replaced the United States of America as the second most popular destination in 2010 (10.4%). In 2005, after the second bombings in Bali in October 2005, the proportion of Australian residents departing to Indonesia for short-term visits was down to 6.7%. Australian resident departures increased to Thailand (up from 4.3% in 2005 to 6.3% in 2010) and decreased to the United Kingdom, Channel Islands & Isle of Man (down from 9.7% in 2000 to 6.4% in 2010).
ORIGINAL ESTIMATES - Age and Sex
When 2000 and 2010 were compared the peak age group for all short-term resident departures remained the 45-49 years age group (10.8% and 9.8% respectively). In recent years, the age distribution of Australian residents travelling overseas grew older, with the proportion travelling in the 50-69 years age group increasing from 25.1% in 2000 to 28.9% in 2010. Conversely, the proportion travelling in the 25-49 years age group decreased from 51.1% in 2000 to 45.3% in 2010. The median age of all short-term resident departures was 39.9 years in 2000 compared with 40.8 years in 2010.
For male Australian residents departing overseas for a short-term stay abroad, the peak age group was the 40-45 years age group at 11.5% in 2000. This changed to the 45-49 years age group at 10.3% in 2010. For females the peak age group remained younger: the 25-29 years age group at 10.9% in 2000 and 9.9% in 2010. The median age of males and females increased in 2010 to 41.7 years and 39.7 years respectively. In 2000, the comparative medians were 40.9 years and 38.3 years respectively.
The difference between the number of Australian male and female residents departing for short-term stays abroad is decreasing over time. The short-term resident departures sex ratio (the number of male departures per 100 female departures) was 119 males in 2000 compared with 113 males in 2010. The highest sex ratios were recorded in the 35-39 years age group both in 2000 (147 males) and 2010 (133 males). The lowest sex ratios were in the 20-24 years age group in 2000 (77 males) and the 15-19 years age group in 2010 (86 males). The age group 75 years and over has seen considerable change with the sex ratio increasing from 80 males in 2000 to 102 males in 2010. The following graph illustrates, for short-term resident departures, the sex ratios at each age group.
ORIGINAL ESTIMATES - Main reason for journey
In the year ended December 2010, the most frequently cited main reason for journey from Australia by short-term resident departures was holiday (56%), followed by visiting friends and relatives (23%) and business (11%). While the most cited main reasons for journey in the year ended December 2000 were the same, the proportions were different: holiday (45%), visiting friends and relatives (25%) and business (16%). During the 2010 period the median duration of stay was 15 days compared with 16 days in 2000.
ORIGINAL ESTIMATES - State of residence
The largest contributors to short-term travel overseas in the year ended December 2010 were the most populous states. Residents of New South Wales contributed the highest proportion of travellers (35%), followed by Victoria (24%), Queensland (17%), Western Australia (15%), South Australia (5%), the Australian Capital Territory (2%), Tasmania and the Northern Territory (1% each). In 2000, the state/territory of stay proportions for all short-term resident departures were mainly similar, but some differences were recorded for specific states. New South Wales contributed 40%, Queensland 15% and Western Australia 12% of all short-term resident departures in 2000.
ORIGINAL ESTIMATES - Movement rates
In the year ended December 2010, there was considerable variation in the rate of movement for short-term resident departures (the number of movements per 1,000 state or territory population) across the states and territories. The Australian Capital Territory had the highest movement rate (465 movements per 1,000 population) followed by Western Australia (456), New South Wales (340), the Northern Territory (321), Victoria (308), Queensland (272), South Australia (203) and Tasmania (175). Overall, the Australian movement rate was 318 movements per 1,000 population.
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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This page last updated 3 August 2011