Holiday top reason for overseas travel in June

Media Release

Holidays were Australians' most popular reason for overseas travel in June 2022, with 169,000 holiday makers returning from short trips overseas, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

Jenny Dobak, ABS Director of Migration Statistics, said this was the first time this had happened since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, overtaking Visiting Friends or Relatives (152,000), which had been the most popular reason for heading overseas since April 2020.

(a) Top 3 Reasons for Journey based on residents returning from short-term trips in June 2022.

“Since the reopening of Australia’s international border in late 2021, international travel has been steadily increasing for both visitors and residents,” Ms Dobak said.

“We are seeing people opting for holiday destinations and trip durations this June that are more consistent with what we would usually see in June, particularly warm winter getaways.”

Increases in overseas travel volumes in recent months have continued to the point where short-term residents returning for June have reached 46 per cent of the June 2019 level, and Short-term visitors arriving have reached 42 per cent of the June 2019 level.

Return to shorter breaks overseas

The data also showed Australian residents once again taking shorter overseas trips.

When travel restrictions were in place, Australians were making fewer but generally longer overseas trips, with the duration of stay for short-term resident returns peaking at 258 days in December 2020.

However, in June 2022 the median duration of stay was 16 days, around what it had been before the pandemic (14 days in June 2019).

Provisional July data

Provisional data for July 2022 saw further increases in international travel, with 1,083,000 arrivals and 973,000 departures. Both were the highest since the pandemic began, reaching 54 per cent and 55 per cent of July 2019 levels.

Given the limited international travel during the 2020-21 financial year, the 2021-22 financial year saw the number of short-term visitor arrivals increase nearly eightfold, up to 1,192,000, and seven times as many short-term resident returns, up to 1,591,000. While increasing, these financial year totals are still less than 15% of those for 2018-19.

New Zealand was the largest source country of short-term visitor arrivals in 2021-22, with 192,000 for the financial year, followed by both India and the UK with 134,000.

Further details can be found in Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia – June 2022 (cat. no. 3401.0), available on the ABS website.

Media notes

  • Short-term trip has a duration of stay of less than 12 months.

  • Provisional data for July 2022 has limited variables available. It is revised and more variables become available in next month’s publication. More detailed data are currently available for June 2022.

  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.

  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
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