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3401.0.55.001 - Short-term Visitor Arrivals to Australia, Preliminary, Dec 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/01/2004   
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This is an electronic release of preliminary estimates for short-term visitor arrivals to Australia. There is no printed publication available for this release, however, it is closely related to the monthly publication, Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (cat. no. 3401.0)


CHANGE TO PUBLICATION TITLE OF SHORT-TERM VISITOR ARRIVALS TO AUSTRALIA, PRELIMINARY (cat. no. 3401.0.55.001) - effective as of January 2004.


Following a review of the dissemination strategy for Overseas Arrivals and Departures statistics, the ABS announced in August 2003 that the release of Short-term Visitor Arrivals to Australia, Preliminary (cat. no. 3401.0.55.001) would cease at the end of 2003.

Recently, a number of users have argued for the continuation of the series, which provides one of the earliest measures of inbound tourism activity available. The ABS is currently investigating the possibility of producing timely indicators to measure the performance of the tourism industry. The short-term visitor arrivals data will form a significant contribution to the Tourism Indicators series. The ABS has therefore decided to continue this product.

The current use of the word 'preliminary' is misleading, as the basis of the 'preliminary' and 'final' data (published in Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (cat. no. 3401.0)) are two separate data sources. The data presented in the 'preliminary' release are statistically modelled from passport movements for the reference month and past arrival trends from incoming passenger cards. The 'final' data are based on passenger card data. This is the last issue of this publication under the title, Short-term Visitor Arrivals to Australia, Preliminary (cat. no. 3401.0.55.001). As of the January 2004 issue to be released on 16 February 2004 this publication will be titled:

Short-term Visitor Arrival Estimates, Australia

The catalogue number of this product (3401.0.55.001) will not change.


NOTES

DATA NOTES

The estimates presented in this publication provide an early indication of short-term visitor arrival movements prior to final data becoming available for the reference month. Monthly data prior to the reference month are final estimates. The ABS encourages users of these data to refer to the ABS monthly publication, Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (cat. no. 3401.0) for final ABS estimates of short-term visitor arrivals for the reference period. Final estimates for December 2003 will be released on 12 February 2004.

This publication contains movement data. Care should be taken when interpreting this movement data as 'people'. See paragraph 6 of the Explanatory Notes for more detail.

Calculations of percentage and numeric change as shown in the Table 1 and Main Features of this publication are based on unrounded data. See paragraph 10 of Explanatory Notes for more detail.


INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Chrissy Beruldsen at c.beruldsen@abs.gov.au or telephone (02) 6252 5640.


MAIN FEATURES


TREND ESTIMATES

Trend estimates have been revised to take into account the impact of recent world events. See paragraph 18 of the Explanatory Notes for more detail.

The preliminary trend estimate for December 2003 (438,900 movements) is continuing the steady monthly increase in the series since April 2003 and represents the highest monthly number of short-term visitor arrivals on record.

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES

The preliminary seasonally adjusted estimate of short-term visitor arrivals to Australia for December 2003 (438,800 movements) represents the highest recorded monthly number of movements in the 2003 calendar year, and little difference to the number of movements recorded in November 2003.

ORIGINAL ESTIMATES

The preliminary estimate for short-term visitor arrivals to Australia for December 2003 was 564,200. This represents an increase of 5.7% compared to December 2002 (534,000 movements). Preliminary estimates suggest that large numbers of short-term visitors came from the United Kingdom (102,400 movements), New Zealand (80,500 movements), Japan (70,100 movements), the United States of America (42,300 movements) and Singapore (41,600 movements).

Compared to December 2002, there was an increase of visitors from the Philippines (up 69%), China (up 20%), New Zealand (up 18%), Singapore (up 10%) and Germany (up 9%). There was a decline in visitors from Switzerland (down 12%), Italy (down 7%), and Korea (down 5%).

In original terms, the preliminary estimate of short-term visitor arrivals for the 2003 calendar year (4,743,400 movements) represents a decrease of 2% compared to 2002 (4,841,200 movements). This reflects the down-turn in international travel experienced from March 2003 to the end of July 2003, which can be largely attributed to the emergence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the anticipation and commencement of military action in Iraq, and recent international terrorist fears.

The preliminary estimate for the quarter ended December 2003 (1,472,800 movements) represents an increase of 5.2% compared to the previous year (1,399,800 movements). This increase indicates regaining confidence in international travel to Australia after the down-turn experienced earlier in the year.

Preliminary estimates suggest that in 2003 large numbers of short-term visitors came to Australia from New Zealand (837,100 movements), the United Kingdom (669,000 movements), Japan (624,900 movements) and the United States of America (421,900 movements).

Compared to 2002, there was an increase of visitors from Korea (up 9%), New Zealand (up 6%) and the United Kingdom (up 4%). There was a decline in visitors from Japan (down 13%), Thailand (down 11%), Taiwan, Singapore (both down 10%) and China (down 7%).

TABLE 1: SHORT-TERM MOVEMENT: VISITOR ARRIVALS - DECEMBER 2003 PRELIMINARY

Change
between
Nov 2003 and
Dec 2003
Dec 2003(a)


'000
%

Short-term Visitor Arrivals -
    Trend
438.9
0.9
    Seasonally Adjusted
438.8
    Original
564.2
..

(a) December 2003 data are statistically modelled on passport movements and past arrival trends from passenger cards. Monthly data prior to December 2003 are final estimates based on passenger card data.

TABLE 2: SHORT-TERM MOVEMENT: VISITOR ARRIVALS(a) - COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE

Calendar year

Financial year

Quarter ended Dec

December

2002
2003
2001-02
2002-03
2002
2003
2002
2003p
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000

OCEANIA & ANTARTICA -
New Zealand
790.1
837.1
787.7
793.1
213.0
241.2
68.1
80.5
Total
905.0
954.0
907.5
904.7
243.8
275.2
79.9
93.5
EUROPE & THE FORMER USSR -
Germany
134.8
136.5
136.8
134.0
43.3
41.4
13.0
14.2
Italy
43.3
41.0
41.1
42.5
14.7
13.4
6.7
6.2
Netherlands
53.0
50.7
54.6
52.1
18.9
16.6
6.4
6.2
Sweden
30.9
31.8
30.2
31.8
12.1
11.9
5.5
5.8
Switzerland
41.5
40.3
43.4
41.2
15.0
13.7
6.2
5.5
United Kingdom
642.7
669.0
627.1
644.2
224.5
240.1
103.3
102.4
Total
1180.5
1204.9
1172.2
1170.4
401.5
418.1
169.9
170.9
MIDDLE EAST & NORTH AFRICA -
Total
51.5
53.7
56.3
50.2
12.2
14.9
4.9
6.4
SOUTHEAST ASIA -
Indonesia
89.4
90.8
94.7
86.9
25.6
29.8
13.1
13.1
Malaysia
159.0
156.1
154.3
142.4
44.7
51.4
18.4
18.6
Philippines
28.5
27.1
29.9
25.4
6.4
8.1
1.8
3.0
Singapore
286.9
258.6
295.8
261.6
92.1
90.2
37.9
41.6
Thailand
82.7
73.8
80.0
75.5
19.6
18.9
6.2
6.4
Total
673.8
633.7
682.7
617.7
195.5
207.0
79.8
86.7
NORTHEAST ASIA -
China
190.0
175.9
172.3
177.1
50.7
58.2
18.2
21.8
Japan
715.5
624.9
659.2
658.6
196.0
189.7
70.0
70.1
Korea
189.7
207.0
181.1
195.8
57.4
59.7
18.9
17.9
Taiwan
97.4
87.9
99.1
80.8
19.1
22.0
6.9
7.4
Total
1345.5
1229.0
1262.4
1254.8
361.4
365.9
129.4
133.0
THE AMERICAS -
Canada
90.9
88.0
93.0
86.5
27.5
28.3
10.4
10.8
USA
434.5
421.9
424.4
423.5
114.1
111.7
41.1
42.3
Total
556.2
537.3
551.1
537.1
149.4
148.7
54.7
57.0
AFRICA (excluding North Africa) -
South Africa
51.0
52.3
55.7
47.5
15.0
20.1
6.7
6.9
Total
67.3
68.5
72.7
62.7
19.8
25.3
8.9
9.3
Total(b)
4841.2
4743.4
4768.3
4655.8
1399.8
1472.8
534.0
564.2

(a) December 2003 data are statistically modelled on passport movements and past arrival trends from passenger cards. Monthly data prior to December 2003 are final estimates based on passenger card data.
(b) Includes Southern Asia and not stated/inadequately described.


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