3401.0 - Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, Dec 2016 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/02/2017   
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Seasonally adjusted and trend estimates add to the understanding of overseas arrivals and departures (OAD) statistics. Seasonally adjusted estimates allow users to analyse short-term movements including irregular impacts on the series, while trend estimates provide a better method to analyse and monitor the underlying direction of the series. In most cases, the trend series is the best source of information on the long-term direction of these statistics.

The following graphs are provided to illustrate variations in the seasonally adjusted and trend series for selected countries. These graphs cover the ten year period December 2006 to December 2016.


Selected source countries

The graph for China shows steady growth from July 2009 onwards with monthly fluctuations. This is likely the result of a rise in middle-class Chinese residents taking advantage of targeted marketing to Australia's tourism industry by Tourism Australia. Furthermore, there has been an increase in air capacity from primary Chinese airlines providing direct inward and outward flights to Australia, as well as recent Australian visa changes for Chinese passport holders by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

The graph for France shows a similar steady growth from 2006 to 2009 with monthly fluctuations. However, in April 2010, the seasonally adjusted series fell suddenly at the time of the volcanic eruptions in Iceland, which closed major airports in Europe for one week. An increase in short-term visitor arrivals from France is recorded in May 2014. This is likely a result of the France versus Australia Rugby Union tour held in early June. In more recent times, changes in seasonally adjusted may have been impacted by terrorist attacks, namely the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo offices attack and the July 2015 Nice attack.

The seasonally adjusted series in the third graph shows a large increase in short-term visitor arrivals from the United Kingdom in June 2013. This was caused by the British and Irish Lions Rugby Union tour of Australia.

CHINA, Short-term Visitor Arrivals
Graph: Short-term visitor arrivals from China, last ten years

FRANCE, Short-term Visitor Arrivals
Graph: Short-term visitor arrivals from France, last ten years

UNITED KINGDOM(a) Short-term Visitor Arrivals
Graph: Short-term visitor arrivals from United Kingdom, last ten years


Selected destinations

Sometimes there are abrupt and sustained changes in the underlying behaviour of short-term movement series, termed ‘trend breaks’. Given that these occasions can distort trend estimates, the ABS takes such breaks into account when smoothing seasonally adjusted series.

Analysis of short-term resident departures to Egypt shows the introduction of a break to the series in February 2011. This is necessitated by the sustained decrease in travel there due to ongoing political instability in the region. A trend break has been applied to the graph of resident departures to Indonesia at December 2006 due to movements returning to levels closer to those recorded prior to the October 2005 Bali bombings. A second trend break for Indonesia was applied at April 2009 due to an associated increase in movements that coincided with the introduction of initiatives to combat the Global Financial Crisis. Such initiatives included the Australian Government stimulus packages of October 2008 and February 2009 and cut-price air fares and travel packages. Additionally, travel from Australia has continued to benefit from the high Australian dollar. These impacts were not apparent when analysing departures to some countries, including Egypt. Consequently a trend break correction was not necessary for this series. For further information for breaks in trend series see Explanatory Notes Paragraph 26.

A major decrease in the number of short-term resident departures to Vanuatu is shown for the period of December 2014 to July 2015, this was caused by a series of disruption of air travel to and from the island due to severe tropical cyclones, most notably, Cyclone Lusi in March 2014 and Cyclone Pam in March 2015.

EGYPT, Short-term Resident Departures(a)
Graph: Short-term resident departures to Egypt, last ten years

INDONESIA, Short-term Resident Departures(a)
Graph: Short-term resident departures to Indonesia, last ten years

VANUATU Short-term Resident Departures
Graph: Short-term resident departures to Vanuatu, last ten years