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3401.0 - Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, Dec 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/02/2007   
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SHORT-TERM VISITOR ARRIVALS

In trend terms, short-term visitor arrivals to Australia in December 2006 (470,600 movements) were 0.6% higher than in November 2006. Short-term visitor arrivals are currently 4.0% higher than when the series last troughed in June 2006 (452,500 movements) and 2.8% higher than in December 2005 (457,700 movements).


The following table presents the top ten source countries (based on original estimates) for short-term visitor arrivals during December 2006. Seasonally adjusted and trend estimates are also presented for these countries, along with the percentage change in trend compared with November 2006 and December 2005.

Short-term Visitor Arrivals, Major Source Countries - December 2006

Trend
Seasonally
Adjusted
Original
Nov 06 to
Dec 06
Dec 05 to
Dec 06
'000
'000
'000
Trend %
change
Trend %
change

United Kingdom
61.6
73.9
134.3
2.0
5.8
New Zealand
90.8
91.3
100.9
1.1
0.2
Japan
53.8
52.3
55.3
-0.4
-8.6
United States of America
37.4
37.0
44.4
-0.4
1.9
Singapore
21.7
21.6
34.8
-1.7
1.8
Korea
24.2
25.3
28.6
1.1
22.7
China
27.3
25.8
27.4
-0.3
9.8
Malaysia
13.8
14.5
17.9
2.2
1.2
Hong Kong
12.7
12.6
16.7
-0.5
-6.2
Germany
12.2
12.3
16.1
0.1
-0.8



SHORT-TERM RESIDENT DEPARTURES

In trend terms, short-term resident departures from Australia in December 2006 (422,000 movements) were 0.4% higher than in November 2006. Short-term resident departures are currently 7.7% higher than in December 2005 (391,900 movements).


The following table presents the top ten destinations (based on original estimates) for short-term resident departures during December 2006. Seasonally adjusted and trend estimates are also presented for these countries, along with the percentage change in trend compared with November 2006 and December 2005.

Short-term Resident Departures, Major Destinations - December 2006

Trend
Seasonally
Adjusted
Original
Nov 06 to
Dec 06
Dec 05 to
Dec 06
'000
'000
'000
Trend %
change
Trend %
change

New Zealand
75.6
74.6
116.6
0.5
8.3
United States of America
36.0
35.9
47.4
-1.0
-2.0
United Kingdom
34.4
37.3
40.0
-0.3
6.8
Thailand
25.6
28.4
32.7
2.0
21.1
China
21.6
20.9
24.3
0.1
13.0
Indonesia
19.1
22.8
22.8
7.4
15.6
Singapore
17.4
18.4
22.6
0.9
3.8
Hong Kong
16.8
15.7
22.5
-1.3
10.3
Viet Nam
11.3
11.0
22.2
-0.4
21.0
Malaysia
14.4
14.8
20.9
2.4
2.1



PERMANENT AND LONG-TERM MOVEMENTS

There were 11,010 permanent (settler) arrivals to Australia during December 2006, a decrease of 3.0% compared with December 2005 (11,360 movements). People born in New Zealand accounted for the largest proportion of settlers (18%), followed by people born in the United Kingdom (15%) and China and India (each 8%).


There were 6,560 Australian residents departing permanently from Australia during December 2006, an increase of 4.2% compared with December 2005 (6,300 movements).


Statistics on overseas arrivals and departures relate to the number of movements of travellers rather than the number of travellers. Care should be taken when using long-term movements data as it is known that some individuals who travel multiple times in a year are counted each time they cross Australia's borders (see paragraph 5 of the Explanatory Notes). Long-term movements in this publication are not an appropriate source of migration statistics. For further information refer to Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0).



INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENTS - 1996 TO 2006

In the year ended December 2006 there were a record 21.7 million crossings of Australia's international borders by travellers (original series). This represented 1,051 crossings per 1,000 Australian population. The majority of movements were short-term (97%). Short-term movements have a duration of stay in Australia or absence from Australia of less than one year. Ten years ago (1996) there were 14.1 million crossings by travellers, representing 771 crossings per 1,000 Australian population.


Just over half of the total movements in 2006 were arrivals to Australia (10.9 million). They were comprised of 4.9 million Australian residents returning after a short-term absence from Australia, 5.5 million visitors arriving for a short-term stay and 479,500 permanent and long-term arrivals.


Just under half of the total movements in 2006 were departures from Australia (10.7 million). They were comprised of 4.9 million Australian residents departing short-term, 5.5 million visitors departing Australia after a short-term stay and 265,500 permanent and long-term departures,.


A traveller may cross Australia's borders many times in a year and each movement is counted in these statistics. See the 3rd paragraph of the PERMANENT AND LONG-TERM MOVEMENTS section above.


Short-term visitor arrivals

Trend estimates provide the best method to analyse the underlying direction of the short-term visitor arrivals series. Over the ten year period to December 2006 trend estimates, while showing monthly fluctuations, have recorded strong long-term growth. The high point during this period was the current month (December 2006 - 470,600 movements) and the low point was in March 1998 (341,400 movements).


Irregular impacts on the short-term visitor arrivals series are demonstrated by the seasonally adjusted series. The terrorist attacks in the United States of America on 11 September 2001 and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in mid-2003 both caused decreases in the numbers of visitors arriving in Australia. The increase in movements in September 2000 was due to the Sydney Olympic Games.

SHORT-TERM VISITOR ARRIVALS
Graph: Short-term visitor arrivals



In original terms, a record 5.53 million short-term visitors arrived in Australia in the year ended December 2006. This was slightly higher than the 5.50 million recorded in the year ended December 2005. Ten years ago (1996), 4.2 million short-term visitors arrived in Australia.


The following table shows, for selected years, the top ten source countries (based on 2006) for short-term visitor arrivals.

SHORT-TERM VISITOR ARRIVALS, Major Source Countries: Original Series - Calendar Years

1996
2001
2006

Countries as a proportion of total (%)
New Zealand
16.1
16.8
19.4
United Kingdom
8.8
12.7
13.3
Japan
19.5
13.9
11.8
United States of America
7.6
9.2
8.2
China
1.3
3.3
5.6
Korea
5.5
3.6
4.7
Singapore
5.3
6.1
4.6
Hong Kong
3.7
3.2
2.8
Malaysia
3.2
3.1
2.7
Germany
3.0
3.0
2.7
Total ('000)
4 164.8
4 855.7
5 532.4


Just over half of all short-term visitors to Australia in the year ended December 2006 stated the main reason for journey as holiday (52%), followed by visiting friends and relatives (20%) and business (11%). During this period the median age of short-term visitors was 39 years and the median duration of stay was 10 days.


New South Wales was the intended state of stay for 39% of all short-term visitors to Australia in the year ended December 2006. The other destinations were Queensland (29%), Victoria (18%), Western Australia (9%), South Australia (3%), and Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (each 1%).


Short-term resident departures

Trend estimates provide the best method to analyse the underlying direction of the short-term resident departures series. Except for the period commencing early 2001 and ending late 2003 where movements fluctuated, trend estimates have recorded strong long-term growth over the ten years ending December 2006. The high point during this period was the current month (December 2006 - 422,000 movements) and the low point was in December 1996 (234,500 movements).


As with short-term visitor arrivals, short-term resident departures are also influenced by irregular impacts and this is demonstrated in the seasonally adjusted series. September 11 and SARS, which caused decreases in the number of short-term visitor arrivals, also influenced short-term resident departures in the same way. Additionally, the downturn in the 2002-03 period coincided with the October 2002 Bali bombing and the anticipation and commencement of military action in Iraq in the first half of 2003.

SHORT-TERM RESIDENT DEPARTURES
Graph: Short-term resident departures



In original terms, a record 4.9 million residents travelled overseas for short-term visits during the year ended December 2006. This compared with 4.8 million in the year ended December 2005. Ten years ago (1996), there were 2.7 million residents departing Australia short-term.


The following table shows, for selected years, the top ten source countries (based on 2006) for short-term resident departures.

SHORT-TERM RESIDENT DEPARTURES, Major Source Countries: Original Series - Calendar Years

1996
2001
2006

Countries as a proportion of total (%)
New Zealand
15.2
17.4
17.5
United States of America
12.1
8.5
8.9
United Kingdom
10.6
8.7
8.4
Thailand
3.0
4.8
5.8
China
2.0
3.2
5.1
Singapore
3.6
4.7
4.3
Fiji
2.6
2.7
4.1
Hong Kong
6.1
4.3
4.0
Indonesia
9.5
8.4
3.9
Malaysia
3.6
3.4
3.4
Total ('000)
2 732.0
3 442.6
4 940.6


Just under half of all short-term resident departures from Australia in the year ended December 2006 stated the main reason for journey as holiday (47%), followed by visiting friends and relatives (25%) and business (15%). The median age of all residents departing short-term was 41 years and the median duration of stay was 15 days.


As would be expected the most populous states were the largest contributors to short-term travel overseas in the year ended December 2006. Residents of New South Wales contributed the highest proportion of travellers (38%), followed by Victoria (24%), Queensland (17%), Western Australia (12%), South Australia (4%), the Australia Capital Territory (2%), and Tasmania and the Northern Territory (each 1%).


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. The Australian Capital Territory had the highest movement rate (301 movements per 1,000 population) followed by Western Australia (287), New South Wales (277), Victoria (234), Queensland (211), the Northern Territory (193), South Australia (143) and Tasmania (105). Overall, the Australian movement rate was 240 short-term resident departures 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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