Record fall in overseas trips for Australian travellers


Australia has recorded its largest ever decrease in overseas travel with the number of Australians returning home after a short-term trip down 98.1 per cent on the same time last year, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

With few Australians leaving the country, these decreases, on the back of record falls in March, continue to show the effects of travel restrictions put in place by the Australian government in response to COVID-19.

ABS Director of Migration Statistics Jenny Dobak said 17,000 Australians returned home in April 2020 compared with 916,400 one year earlier.

"Short-term visitor arrivals also fell to 2,200 trips, a 99.7 per cent decrease from the 700,400 recorded in April 2019," Ms Dobak said.

  1. Short-term trip is less than 1 year.

For residents returning home after a short-term trip, there were decreases of more than 97 per cent across all states and territories.

The state with the largest volume of residents returning was New South Wales with 5,700 trips, however, this was considerably smaller than the 310,700 recorded one year ago.

Residents returning - April 2020 - number returning by state and annual % change

State or Territory of residence % Change
NSW5 720-98.2
Vic.4 680-98.2
Qld3 200-98.1
WA1 970-98.2
Australia(a)17 050-98.1

a. Includes Other Territories.

Further details can be found in Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (cat. no. 3401.0) available on the ABS website

On 16 June, the ABS will publish data from a temporary monthly publication called Overseas Travel Statistics, Provisional, May 2020 (cat. no. 3401.0.55.004). This is part of the additional data the ABS is producing to measure the impacts of COVID-19 on Australia and the second issue will have information for May.

Media notes

  • Short-term trip is less than 1 year.
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • The ABS is producing additional data to measure the impact of COVID-19 on Australia. Further information is available on the ABS website.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team on 1300 175 070 (8.30am - 5pm Mon - Fri).
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