Australians continue to return home

Media Release

The number of overseas arrivals into Australia increased by 18 per cent in December 2020, reaching 35,100 people, according to provisional data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Director of Migration Statistics, Jenny Dobak, said the latest Overseas Travel Statistics, Provisional data recorded the largest number of Australian citizen arrivals (17,800) since travel restrictions were first introduced in April 2020.

"We are continuing to see steady month on month increases in arrivals," Ms Dobak said. 

"The increase in December overseas arrivals is consistent with the lifting of travel caps on international arrivals in late 2020, as well as the opening of a one-way travel arrangement from New Zealand." 

"In Victoria, the lifting of restrictions saw over 5,300 overseas arrivals in December compared with just over 500 in the previous month." 

"Despite these increases to monthly arrivals, overall travel numbers still remain very low, with December arrivals down 98 per cent from this time last year." 

More detailed November data released on Friday 15 January by the ABS, in Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (OAD), helps to provide further context to the recent increase in monthly arrivals. The OAD data shows that Australian residents returning from overseas increased from 11,200 arrivals in October to 13,000 arrivals in November. Short-term visitor arrivals also increased from 6,100 to 7,600. 

Media notes

  • Short-term trips are less than one year.
  • Further details can be found in Overseas Travel Statistics - Provisional (cat. no. 3401.0.55.004) available for free download on the ABS website
  • More detailed travel data is released in the regular monthly Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (OAD) publication (cat. no. 3401.0), released 4 weeks after Overseas Travel Statistics - Provisional publication (cat. no. 3401.0.55.004).
  • This is a new publication in response to COVID-19 and the heightened interest in traveller data.
  • Information on ABS products being produced to measure the impact of COVID-19 on Australia can be found on the ABS website.
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri AEDT).
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